Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Community service in Covid-19 centers for not wearing masks: Gujarat moves Supreme Court

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New Delhi: The Gujarat Government on Thursday filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the Gujarat High Court order mandating community service at Covid-19 centers for those not wearing masks. 

On Thursday, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought permission from the Justice Ashok Bhushan-led bench to circulate a Special Leave Petition challenging the Gujarat High Court verdict which mandates those who don’t wear masks have to serve in Covid wards.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J. B. Pardiwala of the Gujarat High Court yesterday directed that people who were not wearing face cover/masks should do community services as just imposition of fine was not serving purpose.  

“The State Government must come out with policy or order directing that all those caught not wearing face cover/masks shall be listed for community service and their services be taken depending upon the nature of service such violators can extend,” the Gujarat HC had said. 

The High Court had laid down guidelines and directed the state to come out with a notification mandating it to be followed; 

1- Any person found to be not wearing the masks/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 center run by the local authorities. 

2- Such mandate of community service to be implemented for all violators without any discrimination favourable or otherwise. 

3- The duty should be non-medical in nature and can include activities such as, cleaning, housekeeping, help in cooking & serving the food, preparation of record, data feeding, etc. The nature of duties given shall be appropriately decided by the authorities, considering the age, qualifications, gender and health state of the violator. 

4- Such community service should be at least for 4-6 hours a day, for a period ranging from 5-15 days as the authorities deem it fit and necessary. 

5- Such instances should be widely publicised in the media, including social, electronic, digital and print media, so as to have a desirable deterrent effect. 

Also Read: Delhi doctors’ salaries: Supreme Court asks IMA to move Delhi HC for contempt plea

The Court had said draft amendment is allowed and directed the State to file status report regarding the compliance while listing the matter for further hearing on December 24. 

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