Bench takes severe exception to govt. appointing inquiry fee into the demise of COVID-19 sufferers with out its prior approval when the matter was sub judice.
In a serious setback to the Karnataka authorities, the High Court on Wednesday directed the Chief Secretary to grab all of the information in the places of work of the Deputy Commissioners of Chamarajanagar and Mysore districts, and Chamarajanagar district hospital on oxygen supply and relevant correspondences among the authorities in the 2 districts.
The courtroom additionally took severe exception to the choice of the State authorities to arrange a fee of inquiry beneath the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 and appointing a retired decide to probe the deaths of 24 COVID-19 patients in Chamarajanagar with out taking its prior approval.
The courtroom on Tuesday had indicated to the State Advocate-General that it was in favour of ordering a judicial probe by appointing a retired decide contemplating the seriousness of the problems associated to demise of COVID-19 sufferers in Chamarajanagar, Kalaburagi and different locations.
The A-G, after taking directions from the federal government, had instructed the courtroom that the federal government per se had no objection to a judicial probe.
However, the federal government, in the Cabinet assembly convened on Tuesday night, determined to arrange a Commission of Inquiry and appointed B.A. Patil, a retired decide of the High Court, as a one-man fee to conduct inquiry.
“Intention of the government is very clear from the manner in which the whole thing is being done… It is a peremptory order…we are not against your appointing a particular judge, but you should have left it to the court…In all fairness you should have left it to the court to appoint a retired judge to conduct inquiry…,” noticed a Special Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar.
The Bench stated that the Chief Secretary ought to instantly seize all of the documents, preserve them in his secure custody until additional orders of the courtroom. The Chief Secretary can provide entry to the documents to the IAS officer appointed to conduct a preliminary inquiry, the courtroom stated whereas indicating it might additionally order permitting entry to the documents to a committee, headed by a retired decide of the High Court of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority, which is monitoring the COVID-19 scenario analysing State’s actions and responses.