The Union government on Friday clarified to the High Court of Karnataka that if persons aged above 65 visit outside for any important unavoidable work or duty, it will not be a violation of COVID-19 lockdown norms as they are “only advised” to stay at home as per the notification issued on May 30.

A statement in this regard was filed before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty during the hearing of a PIL petition filed by B.N. Jayadeva, a city-based 68-year-old practising advocate.

“The present guidelines states that persons aged 65, those with comorbidities, pregnant women, and children below the age of 10 are advised to stay at home, except for essential and health purposes. Hence of any person aged above 65 visits outside for any important unavoidable work or duty, they will not violate orders leading to prosecution under the Disaster Management Act, 2005,” the Centre clarified.

The petition, filed prior to May 30, had complained that restrictions issued in the earlier lockdown guidelines impacted the lives of persons aged above 65 as they were confined to the four walls of their houses. The petitioner had also contended that several politicians aged above 65 and holding high public offices move around freely though there is no exemption granted to them but ordinary senior citizens were discriminated against when compared with the political leaders.

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