In dry Gujarat, a Surat court has started awarding punishment to drunken men in a different manner. According to Resident Medical Officer of New Civil hospital, the court has been punishing drunken men to carry out the social work of cleaning the hospital and helping the hospital staff in other maintenance work.
All those caught by Amroli and Katargam police for drinking liquor were asked to clean up the New Civil hospital premises by the court. One of the accused, who is among 11 punished under the new law, turned up at the Civil hospital Friday, but was told to come on Monday as it was a holiday.
Given the high number of people arrested under the prohibition law, the offenders usually go scot-free by paying a penalty of Rs 100. To reform such regular offenders and teach them a lesson, the 17th Additional Judicial Magistrate Sanjiv Kumar, last week had met with New Civil hospital medical superintendent, Dr M K Wadhel. Kumar told him that those arrested under the prohibition law would be sent to the New Civil hospital for cleaning and helping work for one-day from morning till evening, by court. Both the officials mutually agreed on this plan and the process started Monday onwards. Till date over 10 such arrested persons had done cleaning and assistance work in the hospital like pulling stretchers, cleaning of floors and helping the attendants to bring the patients to the treatment room from the vehicle etc.
On Wednesday, Amroli and Katargam police met the Resident Medical Officer of Surat New Civil hospital, with the list of 11 arrested under prohibition case, to assign them work of cleaning and other social work in the hospital, on December 25. The police are also responsible for helping the accused to reach the hospital with a letter.
In-charge Resident Medical officer Dr. Sumit Jagani said, “The process started a few days ago in the civil hospital, with a routine exercise of court giving the list of the accused to the police which they hand it over to us. We decide on the date on which work should be taken from them. Generally, such accused are get released from the court after paying a nominal penalty. The judicial magistrate had taken an innovative step, to make such people do social work at public places. The work starts at 10.00 am ends 6.00 pm and later in the evening we give them certificate which they hand over to the concerned police station or to the court.”