The Karnataka High Court today directed the state government to take strict action against all those persons violating social distancing norms, irrespective of how influential they are..The Court passed the direction while hearing a plea alleging that the National Directives for COVID-19 Management, part of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) guidelines issued on May 30, were not being followed in Karnataka..In its order, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice M Nagaprasanna asserted,."It is time for State to act with firm hands to ensure that no person, howsoever influential he is, will be spared if he/she commits any violations of the orders passed under Disaster Management Act, 2005."Karnataka High Court.During the hearing, the Court was informed of two intervention Applications filed by Advocate GR Mohan and another by Advocate Puthige Ramesh, highlighting that certain political leaders were conducting marriage functions without paying any heed to the social distancing norms. .Ramesh argued,"To date, no politician has been booked for violation of social distancing norms.".Further, the Court was told that on June 27, a function was held to erect a 108-foot tall statue of Kempegowda. During this function, social distancing norms and wearing of masks were "thrown in the wind". .It was additionally pointed out that a protest rally was also held on June 29, were similar disregard of the state-issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were noted. Mohan further contended that action against the violators who participated in the rally was taken only under Section 283 of the Indian Penal Code - with Rs 200 imposed as fine - and not under the DM Act. .[COVID-19] No machinery in place to check whether SOPs are being followed: Karnataka HC pulls up govt in plea on social distancing norms.Taking note of these instances, the Court went on to allow the IAs and opined that State would have to deal with these violations firmly. .In this regard, the Court directed the government to file its response in the IAs by July 24, and further, to submit a summary report on the action taken against those who have violated social distancing norms..[COVID-19] No machinery in place to check whether SOPs are being followed: Karnataka HC pulls up govt in plea on social distancing norms.At this juncture, Ramesh informed the Court that there were several inconsistencies in the written submissions filed by the state government on the number of meetings conducted by the authorities under the DM Act..As the hearing drew a close, the Court expressed hope that all district authorities would start functioning properly and discharge the duties entrusted to them. .The matter has been next posted for hearing on July 27. .Previously, the Court had directed the state government to pass a direction to the District Disaster Management Authorities to hold meetings regularly and to diligently perform their respective duties.