Kochi (Kerala) [India], May 19 (ANI): Kerala High Court on Wednesday directed strict adherence to COVID-19 protocol during the swearing-in ceremony of the state government which is scheduled for tomorrow with the participation of 500 invitees.
The court said, "All the COVID protocols/guidelines/circulars/notifications issued on May 6 and May 14 have to be adhered to or strictly followed by the state government while conducting the swearing-in ceremony. The COVID restrictions should not be diluted, or in other words, altered, by the government, solely for the swearing-in-ceremony."
The bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly directed this while considering various petitions seeking to stay the decision of the state government to conduct the ceremony with 500 people.
The court said, "The government should consider measures to bring down the strength of persons present at the ceremony and drop the spouses and relatives of all the MLAs, except the designated ministers are not required to participate in the swearing-in ceremony. It can be viewed from the residence of the respective MLAs. Political parties shall take a decision as to whether all the MLAs are required to be present in the swearing-in ceremony."
It further said that government officials required for the ceremony alone shall be permitted.
"Though states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, with more Legislators in the Assembly, have performed the swearing-in ceremony with a lesser number, Kerala Government, a forerunner in COVID management, should restrict the number to the maximum to avoid the widespread," the court stated.
The Communist Party of India (M)-led LDF retained power in Kerala by winning 99 seats against 41 seats of Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the assembly polls. BJP could not win any seat. (ANI)