Amid the rise in COVID-19 cases, Gujarat High Court has issued an order mandating 'community service' at COVID-19 community centres if found violating compulsory wearing of masks order. The High court has also asked the Gujarat state government to issue a notification in this regard.
According to media reports, Gujarat High Court said that the people who violate the mask rules will have to do about four to five hours of community service at COVID-19 care centres for 5 to 15 days as instructed by the concerned authority. As per the High Court order, people who are found not wearing masks will have to undertake non-medical duty including cleaning, housekeeping, cooking, helping, serving and will also be fined, stated ANI. The report further adds that the offenders will be assigned duties by the concerned authorities depending on their age, gender, qualification and status. This order passed by the Gujarat High Court was aimed at ensuring that the punishment serves as a 'sufficient deterrent'.
"Any person found not wearing or using face mask cover in a public place and/or violating the COVID protocol of social distance shall be mandated to do community service at any COVID centre run by local authorities. Such a mandate of community service to be implemented for all violators without any discrimination. These duties shall be non-medical in nature, such as cleaning, housekeeping, cooking., etc. The nature of duty shall be appropriately decided by the authorities considering age, qualification and gender of rule violators," said the court order.
This order came in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by an advocate that sought an appropriate direction to the concerned state government authorities to increase the fine if found not wearing masks.The PIL was heard by a two-Judge Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala. In a previous hearing which was live-streamed on YouTube, the bench had emphasized the importance of taking stern steps to contain the spread of COVID-19.
(With inputs from ANI & PTI)