The Karnataka government on Monday informed the High Court that Bengaluru South MP and the National President of BJP Yuva Morcha Tejasvi Surya was fined for appearing in a public rally without wearing a mask on September 30. The fine was paid on November 7, the state government confirmed in a submission to the High Court. It was registered in Vyalikaval police station limits in Bengaluru.
The development comes after the High Court on Thursday asked the state government if it had levied fines on Tejasvi Surya and other political leaders for not wearing masks during political rallies.
Chief Justice Abhay Sreenivas Oka and Justice Vishwajith Shetty are hearing a petition filed by advocate Ramesh Puthige raising allegations that directives for COVID-19 management laid down by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) were not followed or implemented in Karnataka. During the case, the petitioner had argued that celebrities in Karnataka were not pulled up for flouting distancing norms and failing to wear masks. The High Court bench raised questions about photographs showing Tejasvi Surya without a mask during a rally on September 30. On this day, Tejasvi Surya was seen addressing a public gathering from atop a vehicle.
The state government in its submission also stated the details of 684 people fined for not wearing masks during the campaigning for the bye-election in RR Nagar in Bengaluru last week. It also specified there are 18 non-cognisable reports of cases where people were found without masks at a public event.
Apart from Tejasvi, several other political leaders have been found addressing the public without wearing masks or following distancing rules. This includes Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President DK Shivakumar and former Karnataka Health Minister B Sriramulu, when he held his office as the state health minister.