Kochi: In a major setback to the CPM-led state government, Kerala High Court on Friday banned all meetings including the CPM district conventions attended by more than 50 people.
Despite strict restrictions amid the Covid spike, the CPM has been conducting state-wide conventions with the participation of hundreds of party cadres. Violating the norms, the ruling party conducted various dance and music programmes, hailing Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, which were attended by more than 500 women, in the presence of a massive crowd.
Ahead of the CPM's two-day Kasaragod district conference, the district collector had issued an order restricting the public meetings and gatherings. However, within two hours, he withdrew the order. The CPM’s Kasaragod conference was attended by more than 200 people. The Test Positivity Rate of the venue was more than 50 per cent!
In response to this injustice, a petitioner moved a PIL to the High Court and alleged that the district collector’s retreat was to favour the CPM. Court's Division Bench asked, "what was so special about the meetings of political parties? Whether the current criteria were reasonable? Only 50 people were allowed to attend even in the Republic Day celebrations. The rate of hospitalised people on Kasargod is 36 per cent."
The plea was submitted by Arun Raj PN, an advocate clerk from Thiruvananthapuram as PIL.
Meanwhile, Kerala recorded the highest single-day spike with 46,387 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, stated the State Health Department on Thursday. The total active cases in the state are 1,99,041, the heath bulletin said.
While as many as 1,337 people have been hospitalized due to COVID-19, a total of 15,388 people recovered in the last 24 hours.