On Friday, the Gujarat High Court that imposition of fine on not wearing masks is not acting as a sufficient deterrent amongst the public and the State Government may consider making violators work at Covid-19 centres.
The finality of the decision will be discussed by the Court with the State Government on Tuesday December 01.
Advocate Vishal Awtani, seeking an appropriate direction to the State to increase the fine for not wearing a face cover (mask). Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala were hearing a PIL.
The fine for not wearing a face mask be increased to Rs.2000/- in the cities of Ahmadabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot and Rs.1000/- for the rest of, he urged in his submission. In addition to the fine that is being imposed, appropriate directions may be issued that such persons who are caught without wearing a face cover (mask), their services will be utilized for community services at Covid-19 Centres for 10 to 15 days on non-medical services. “This would sufficiently work as a deterrent and will ensure stricter implementation of compulsory wearing a mask,” he submitted.
Convinced by suggestion, the bench said on “We also feel that such steps if taken would definitely ensure greater implementation of the compulsory wearing of mask which will definitely help us in containing the spread of the COVID-19.”
It is seen that despite the constant reminders to follow health protocols and imposition of fine on not wearing of mask, people are not complying with it. The Bench was alarmed to note that out of 100 people who were fined for not wearing a face cover (mask), 47 were tested positive with asymptomatic condition.
To deter not wearing of masks, the bench was opinion that measures need to be taken. The order states that;
“Learned Advocate General and the learned Government Pleader also find this suggestion to be working well as a deterrent, however, they prayed for reasonable time to revert back after obtaining instructions from the State. We also feel that such steps if taken would definitely ensure greater implementation of the compulsory wearing of mask which will definitely help us in containing the spread of the COVID-19.
Since this will require an urgent attention at the level of the State and also by us, we direct that for consideration of this aspect; let this petition be listed on Tuesday i.e. 01.12.2020 on top of the Board, to be taken up at 11.00 a.m.”
Case Title: Vishal Awtani v. State of Gujarat