Penalty up to Rs 1 lakh! How states are punishing COVID-19 guideline violators

By: |
July 23, 2020 9:01 PM

The Jharkhand cabinet has imposed fine upto Rs 1 lakh along with 2 years of imprisonment against violators of the Covid-19 related guidelines

The central government has already made wearing face masks mandatory at public places across the country.The central government has already made wearing face masks mandatory at public places across the country.

Conveying the seriousness of not wearing face masks in public, spitting in public and violation of other Covid-19 related guidelines, the Jharkhand cabinet has imposed fine upto Rs 1 lakh along with 2 years of imprisonment against violators of the Covid-19 related guidelines, according to an Indian Express report. The Jharkhand Contagious Disease Ordinance was passed by the cabinet in this regard. The decision comes in the wake of the surge in the number of Coronavirus cases across the country. The central government has already made wearing face masks mandatory at public places across the country. This is not the first instance of the government authorities resorting to heavy penalties to make people comply with the Covid-19 related guidelines.

In Punjab, COVID-19 patients violating home isolation instructions, and owners of restaurants and commercial eating places violating social distancing norms will have to pay Rs 5,000 as fine. Rs 10,000 penalty to be imposed for social gatherings of more than permitted strength, Punjab CMO said today, reported ANI.

Earlier the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation(AMC) had increased the fine from Rs 200 to Rs 500 for not wearing face mask and spitting at public places. Going a step further, the local government authorities had also imposed a penalty of Rs 10000 against the Paan shop owners if people are found spitting in the vicinity of their shops. The enforcement of the ban and fine has also been strict in the city as the AMC penalised a total of 1.72 lakh people and sealed 94 business units for the violation of the guidelines in the first 2 weeks of July. The action taken by the authorities has also resulted in the collection of a fine of total Rs 1.52 crore as well from the month of May to the second week of July.

The state government of Kerala has also hardened its stance against repeat offenders by imposing a fine of Rs 5000. In contrast to the repeat offenders, the first time offenders are only being charged Rs 200 for flouting the Covid-19 related guidelines. Proportionately increasing the fine with each offence, the Odisha government has also imposed a fine of Rs 200 each for first three offences which gets upgraded to Rs 500 for every subsequent offence.

Similar guidelines have been issued by the government of Haryana as well. State Home Minister Anil Vij said that the government has empowered Block Development Officers, Tehsildars and other higher officials to impose a fine of Rs 500 on the violators.

In an order that could cost heavier than the monetary fine, violators in the city of Gwalior will have to work as volunteers in hospitals and police check posts for a period of three days. The order was passed by Gwalior Collector Kaushlendra Vikram Singh. Monetary fines will also be imposed on the violators.

Pune which is one of the worst affected cities in the state of Maharashtra has also imposed a fine of Rs 500 on the violators. The decision was taken by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) Commissioner Shekhar Gaikwad last month.

Resorting to Section 188(Disobedience to an order passed by a public servant), the Delhi government Chief Secretary Vijay Dev has passed orders which could imprison violators for a period of upto six months. In addition to the punishment, a fine ranging between Rs 200 and Rs 1000 could also be imposed on those who step out of their houses without wearing a mask.

In a similar order using section 188, adviser to the administrator of Chandigarh Manoj Parida also passed orders that could imprison violators for a period of upto six months. The order passed in Chandigarh also makes it mandatory for people to wear masks while riding their persona two wheeler and four wheeler vehicles.

Bihar which is fast emerging as one of the biggest hotspots in the country has also imposed a fine of Rs 50 for not wearing face masks at public places and offices.

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