Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of Abhay S. Oka, CJ and B.V. Nagarathna, J., while addressing a petition held that,

“…decision to keep open super markets 24×7 relates to purely a policy decision and nothing arbitrary in the said policy decision is found.”

Petition has been filed to quash the Order passed by respondent 4 allowing the opening of Super Markets 24 x 7 otherwise the consequence of the same would be that a large number of people will enter the supermarkets and will touch the articles, which will result into the spread of COVID-19.

Further the petition in view of the above submitted that the working hours of super markets will have to be restricted.

Another submission is for BMTC buses with regard to their cleanliness which is not maintained and if permission to travel is granted to 20 passengers, it will result in spread of COVID-19.

Bench with regard to the submission of super markets, stated that, depending upon the circumstances and local situation, it is for the Authorities of the State to take a decision regarding the time during which grocery shops and super markets can be kept open. Thus, the opening of supermarkets 24 x 7 relates to purely a policy decision.

For the second submission of the petitioner, Court stated that,

all the precautions will have to be taken while operating the buses and norms of social distancing will have to be strictly observed. Court found nothing per se anything wrong, arbitrary or illegal in the decision taken to allow BMTC buses to be used for transportation of persons who are connected with providing the essential services.

In view of the above, petition is disposed of. [Sandhya U. Prabhu v. State of Karnataka, 2020 SCC OnLine Kar 441 , decided on 21-04-2020]

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