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Make those not wearing masks serve at Covid centres: Gujarat HC

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Expressing concern and dissatisfaction over the violating the Covid-19 guidelines in Gujarat, the High Court on Wednesday ordered the state government to issue a notification to make those not wearing face masks to perform community services at Covid care centres for five to 15 days.

The High Court also expressed “shock” over the way BJP legislator Kanti Gamit allegedly flouted all Covid-19 protocols and guidelines at a family function. The court also asked what the state government was doing about the issue.

A video clip had gone viral on the social media, wherein over 6,000 persons had gathered at his grandson’s engagement ceremony, most of them without masks and violating all Covid-19 guidelines.

 

“This is shocking and unfortunate. What was the police doing when such a large gathering occurred? We are not at all satisfied with the way the government has handled the situation. Incidents like this make all your efforts till now meaningless.”

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A bench of Chief Justice Vikramnath and Justice JB Pardiwala, during a suo motu hearing on coronavirus and lockdown situation, on which over 50 PILs have been filed, ordered the Gujarat government to issue the notification to ensure social service by face mask norm violators at Covid care centres apart from fine of Rs 1,000.

The HC had last week suggested to the government that as the people were not heeding to the warning of fines, there was a need to make them serve at Covid care centres for eight to 10 days in addition to levy of fines so that they understood the gravity of the pandemic.

Advocate General Kamal Trivedi, appearing for the Gujarat government on Tuesday, had said that the state was unable to act on the HC suggestion and sought another week’s time to decide on the issue.

But the HC refused to give more time and gave the order on Wednesday.

According to the High Court’s suggestion, persons not wearing masks in public shall be asked to perform community services at Covid care centres in the state for 5 to 15 days, at least 4 to 6 hours daily.

The community service shall be of non-medical nature like cleaning, housekeeping, help in cooking and serving food, data preparation etc.

 

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