[COVID-19 Lockdown] NGOs cannot be prevented from distributing food to needy, provided social distancing is followed: Karnataka HC

[COVID-19 Lockdown] NGOs cannot be prevented from distributing food to needy, provided social distancing is followed: Karnataka HC

The Court has added that, “the State Government that the activities of NGOs working in the field need to be co-ordinated.” In this regard, the State has been directed to file a reply by April 16.

Rintu Mariam Biju

In an order passed on Monday, the Karnataka High Court has passed a number of directions concerning issues arising from the COVID-19 lockdown, including food security for the homeless and the coordination of NGOs and the State Government in carrying out such activities.

Notably, the Court was also prompted to caution local news channels and electronic media platforms to be extremely careful and diligent while reporting on the Court orders, especially with regard to sensitive issues pertaining to COVID-19.

NGO should be spermitted to supply food to the homeless

A prayer had been made seeking a modification of a Court order dated March 30 , so that individuals, voluntary organizations, NGOs etc. are allowed to continue supplying the food to the underprivileged and poorer sections of the society.

Responding to the prayer, the Court opined that voluntary organizations cannot be prevented from distributing food to the weaker sections of the society, as long as the norms of social distancing and other precautionary measures are followed.

The Court further reiterated the need for State to co-ordinate with the NGOs and in this regard, and directed the State to reply on this aspect by April 16. Further, the Court added,

“If the State Government is unable to provide a portal where all the NGOs can upload their information, the State must consider of convening meetings at the district level, municipal level, etc. via Video Conferencing for co-ordinating the activities of NGOs. It will be appropriate that at such meetings, the Chairpersons and Secretaries of the District Legal Service Authorities (DLSAs) are invited to attend.”

Karnataka High Court

Source: https://www.barandbench.com/news/litigation/covid-19-lockdown-ngos-cannot-be-prevented-from-distributing-food-to-needy-provided-social-distancing-is-followed-karnataka-hc


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