Karnataka High Court bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raju Awasti and Justice Suraj Govindraj came down on heavily on both the Congress Party and BJP led government for the rally held by the former at Mekedatu amidst COVID-19 surge..Karnataka Congress Party had called for a rally / padayatra from January 9, 2022 demanding construction of a reservoir in Mekedatu to address Bengaluru's water needs. Supporters were invited from small towns and districts. The padayatra starting from Ramanagara district is intended to cover 15 kilometers..The petitioner, one Nagendra Prasad AV, argued that there is a huge spike of COVID cases in the midst of which Congress party has requested volunteers from various districts to participate in the rally. It was pointed out that people who come for the rally will go back to their respective districts spreading the virus to their hometowns.The High Court asked the Congress Party on whether the permission has been procured from concerned authorities to hold the rally..Additional Advocate General R Subramanya, appearing for the Karnataka government, argued that the government by a notification dated January 4, 2022 had banned all rallies and protests and other function due to the spike in Covid cases."No permission was granted to the Congress Party to hold the rally. Everyday, FIRs have been registered against Congress and their leaders," he said..But the Bench reacted sharply to this asking "are you (Government) saying you are helpless to stop the rally?"."Why are you waiting if you have not given the permission? Do you want the Court to take cognizance and then pass the order? Should we pass an order to remove the Deputy Commissioner," the Court demanded. "You know very well there is a pandemic, how have you allowed this to continue," the Bench further quizzed the counsel..At this juncture the petitioner pointed out that even children have been involved in the rally and leaders have met with school children..It was also highlighted that the Ramanagara District Commissioner had issued notice to the Congress Party and it was asked not to hold any rally / padayatra..The High Court proceeded to issue notice to the Congress Party, specifically asking it to respond on whether the rally was held in compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the government in holding such rallies.The High Court also asked what action Congress Party proposed to take if there was any violation of the SOPs. The Court also asked the State to respond on the action taken so far. .The matter will be heard again on January 14. .Arnav Bagalawadi, represented Karnataka Congress Party today while Senior Counsel AS Ponnanna will appear for the Congress Party on Friday. .One more petition regarding Mekedatu rally by Advocate Rajashekhar which is similar to this petition. Both the petitions will be heard on Friday, January 14.