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On Friday, the High Court of Karnataka issued a slew of directions to the State Government to ensure safe passage of farmers and farm labourers/staff members to the fields, along with the transport of agricultural/horticultural produce from the respective fields/farms to the markets for its sale, while also issued directions with regard to the pet shops to ensure proper care being provided to the animals and proper screening of persons entered into state, who attended religious ceremony at Nizamuddin in Delhi.

Court directions came on a petitions filed by “Peoples Union for Civil Liberties” seeking various reliefs regarding the Rural Distress, plight of pet animals during lockdown, issue of Stray animals, issue of Poura Karmikas (a report titled “Swept under the Carpet”) and issue related to plight of migrant workers, along with several other applications.

Acting upon pleas a bench of Chief Justice Abhay S. Oka & Justice B. V. Nagarathna directed State Government to effectively implement the order passed by Central Government on 27th March, 2020 to ease the Rural Distress.

With regard to the pet shops court directed State Government to make a statement on or before 7th April, 2020, whether the pet shops should be permitted to be kept open so that food and medicines are made available to the pet animals.

Court said, “In view of the directions issued by the Animal Welfare Board, we direct the State to ensure that the District Magistrates and the District Administration co-ordinate with the State Animal Welfare Board and take immediate action of opening of all the pet shops across the State with a view to ascertain the condition of the animals locked in the pet shops. They shall ensure that due care of such evacuated animals is taken by providing food, water, medicines etc.”

Court also directed the State Authorities to issue passes to the representatives of NGOs who are dealing with animal welfare to enable them to feed stray animals throughout the State.

“It will be appropriate if the State Animal Welfare Board and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals contact the concerned NGOs and co-ordinate with the Police for facilitating the issue of passes to selected NGOs for the work of feeding of stray animals. An action in this regard is also  necessary to be taken at the earliest,” said Court.

Court felt it unnecessary to issue any directions on an another petition filed by Syed Suhail Ali Shuttari raising grievance that police is not authorising use of two wheelers and four wheelers. Court find it sufficient to record the submission made by Additional Advocate General that citizens must also co-operate with the state government for implementation of lockdown in order to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 Pandemic.

On an application filed by PUCL raising concern about the migrant workers. Court directed State Government to deal with the complaint made with regard to the 10718 migrant workers who have not received ration and to submit its response by 9th April, 2020.

Court also directed the State Government to provide a district wise list with all the details of the camps set up for accommodating the migrant workers to the secretaries of the respective District Legal Services Authorities. The respective secretaries of the District Legal Services Authorities will ensure that they or their volunteers visit camps on random bases to ascertain the infrastructure and facilities provided to migrant workers.

Court also directed registry to register another application filed by PUCL with regard to the Anganawadi Centres and mid-day meals and said procedural compliance should be made on it within two weeks time from the date of regular functioning of court.

Court also directed to list two other petitions concerning the issue of persons who attended the religious congregation at Nizamuddin in Delhi and entered into State of Karnataka. Court said it will hear the matter on 7th  April, 2020.

there cannot be any dispute that it is the duty of the State to collect data of persons who attended the religious ceremony/function at Nizamuddin in Delhi and who may have entered the State of Karnataka. The State of Karnataka will make endeavour to get the data from the concerned authorities of the Central Government and Delhi Government and will take immediate steps to locate those persons in the State of Karnataka, to quarantine them and to make all further steps. The State Government shall place necessary data in this behalf on or before 7th April, 2020,” said Court.

Court also registered the application received by Ondede and Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy regarding the issue of providing cash assistance to trans-gender, and said it will hear it on 7th April, 2020.

The Court now would hear the matter on 7th April, 2020.

-India Legal Bureau

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