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COVID19-After Gujarat, Allahabad High Court Suggests Community Service For Mask Violators

Akshita Saxena
4 Dec 2020 5:04 AM GMT
COVID19-After Gujarat, Allahabad High Court Suggests Community Service For Mask Violators
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Allahabad High Court asks UP Government to consider community service for people not wearing face masks during Covid-19 pandemic

State should consider feasibility of imposing community service upon people not wearing masks in public spaces: Allahabad High Court Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the UP Government to consider the feasibility of having community service by such persons who violate the law of wearing masks- in terms of the direction passed by the Gujarat High Court in Vishal S Awtani v....

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State should consider feasibility of imposing community service upon people not wearing masks in public spaces: Allahabad High Court 

Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed the UP Government to consider the feasibility of having community service by such persons who violate the law of wearing masks- in terms of the direction passed by the Gujarat High Court in Vishal S Awtani v. State of Gujarat.

"Any person found to be not wearing or using a face mask/covering in a public place and/or violating the COVID protocol of social distancing, shall be mandated to do community service at any COVID Care centre run by the local authorities," a Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court had ordered on Wednesday.

Taking note of the rise in active Covid-19 cases in UP, especially in the districts of Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Kanpur Nagar and Gautam Budh Nagar, a Bench comprising Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar said,

"The Chief Secretary, State of U.P. may see to the feasibility of having community service by such persons who violated the law of wearing masks in terms of the aforesaid order of the Gujarat High Court."

It is pertinent to note however, that the Gujarat High Court's direction to do community service was stayed by the Supreme Court yesterday itself, for being "disproportionate" and dangerous for "health".

Supreme Court Stays Gujarat HC Order Directing Persons Not Wearing Masks To Do Community Service At COVID-19 Centres

The Division Bench in the present case insisted that the authorities must ensure that:

  • There should be 100 per cent wearing of masks by the residents of those districts.
  • Borders should be well guarded so that people of the other districts/States who were coming into the districts may properly be checked.
  • Medical facility vis-a-vis checking and treatment, should be increased/ extended. In this regard, the figures of testing and recovery rate may be provided to the Court by the next date fixed.

Inter alia, the Bench was informed that out of 75 districts in UP, 37 districts were having surveillance done with the help of drones. Further, Section 144 had been imposed in the cities of Lucknow, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Kanpur Nagar and Gautam Budh Nagar.

However, the Court was dissatisfied with the ground report that positive cases are on a rise and it remarked,

"looking to the rise of the active Covid-19 cases it is clear that the police was not taking as much action as was required to be taken… we find that there is a definite rise in the active cases of Covid-19 in the above districts and for this purpose, the State Government along with the local administration may come up with such steps which would restrain the rise of the active Covid-19 cases."

The Court has asked the Heads of the Administration and the Heads of the Police Force of the above named districts to file their affidavits with regard to the steps which they were taking to restrain the hike of Covid-19 cases.

The matter is now fixed for hearing on December 10, 2020.

Case Title: In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres…

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