The court had earlier directed the state government to have a redressal mechanism in place.

Can citizens send COVID-19 violation complaints over WhatsApp Karnataka HC asks stateWikimedia Commons
news Court Saturday, June 05, 2021 - 14:15

The Karnataka High Court on Friday asked the state government if it could set up a mechanism to register complaints of COVID-19 protocol violations like wearing masks and maintaining physical distance, through WhatsApp and Telegram. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Suraj Govindaraj was hearing a petition about the formation of a grievance redressal mechanism. The court said that it would be easier for citizens to register complaints along with photos through apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, Bar and Bench reported. According to reports, the next hearing will be held on June 10.  

The suggestion was made by the court when it was hearing a plea moved by NGO Letzkit Foundation, that sought strict implementation of COVID-19 norms in the state. The court had earlier directed the government to have a redressal mechanism in place. While the suggestion was backed by the petitioner’s lawyers, Additional Advocate General (AAG) Dhyan Chinnappa, representing the state government, said it would be difficult to date the photographs. He also pointed out that it could lead to an overload of information, the Bar and Bench report stated. The court, however, asked the government to consider the suggestion.

According to another report, the court directed the government to give publicity to the redressal mechanism so that people could report any violations. The court also sought a status update from the state government regarding the January 17 incident wherein the ruling BJP party had organised a rally in Belagavi before the bye-elections, that led to violations of COVID-19 appropriate behaviour. The government sought more time to respond to the issue.

Meanwhile, maintaining its upward trend, the discharge of 22,316 patients in a day led to recoveries remaining more than the 16,068 new COVID-19 cases reported in Karnataka in the latest 24-hour period, according to the state health bulletin on Friday.

As epicentre of the pandemic in the state, Bengaluru reported 3,221 fresh cases, taking its COVID-19 tally to 11.77 lakh, including 1.31 lakh active cases, while recoveries rose to 10.31 lakh with 6,220 people discharged during the 24-hour period.

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