July 3, 2021 4:04:01 am
A division bench of the Gujarat High Court on Friday remained disinclined to entertain the state’s plea to reduce penalty for not wearing mask in the state from Rs 1,000 to Rs 500.
Advocate General Kamal Trivedi representing the state, submitted that it has realised that the high penalty amount is “pinching”, especially for the rural population and while the penalty was set at Rs 1,000 “at the behest of this court” at a time when compliance with the mask mandate was low as “people were not disciplined, they were not ready to observe (mask mandate),” the situation has changed since.
“Great discipline came to be inculcated, people are adhering to this (mask mandate)… by and large people are falling in line,” said AG Trivedi.
While the bench enquired who are the parties who have objected to the penalty amount, Trivedi submitted that while there were no specific person objecting and the request was “only driven by popular demand”, he also added that the high amount is affecting people from lower strata of the society.
The bench remarked that it will consider about reducing the fine after 50 per cent of the population is vaccinated.
“We are not able to control crowds, not able to ensure social distancing, so let them wear mask… You’ll have to withdraw and file at the appropriate time,” the bench remarked.
Matter has been reserved for order for disposal.
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