The Karnataka High Court on Thursday took note of concerns over food and financial security of unorganised workers and other economically disadvantaged communities in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic lockdown. A bench comprising Chief Justice AS Oka and Justice BV Nagarathna, while hearing a petition filed by one Mohammed Arif Jameel, said the state government should give urgent attention to the points raised by the People Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL) in an email to the court. The matter will come up for hearing on Monday as part of an ongoing litigation.
Jameel had approached the HC seeking directions to stop all forms of evictions and demolitions and dispossessions for one month due to the 21-day nationwide lockdown announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The HC also took note of letters/emails seeking the courtâ€™s intervention to give relief to the affected communities, addressed to them and to the Executive Chairman of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority.
The order mentions two letters received by the KSLA. One of them expressing concerns over the failure to provide food security for vulnerable sections in Karnataka. And another by the BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike) Porakarmikara Sangha seeking action to protect the health of sanitation workers in the state in the wake of this pandemic.
In its order on Thursday, the bench led by the CJ mentioned that it will also allow a petition, received through email from Sandhya U Prabhu, a Bengaluru-based advocate, seeking similar relief. Prabhu has been given six weeksâ€™ time to comply with court procedures and pay the court fees.
The Register has also been asked to forward the three letters to the State Advocate General and Chief Secretary.
As part of its order on Thursday, the HC also said in future, it might ask the state government to reduce overcrowding in prisons following directions of the Supreme Court.
In a recent survey done by AICCTU, Karnataka Domestic Workers Rights Union, Garment and Textile Workers Union (GATWU) and the Savithri Bai Phule Mahila Sanghatane has found drastic drop in incomes of the affected communities.