‘No mask violates the right to life of others,’ says Supreme Court
People who don’t wear masks in public spaces are violating everyone else’s fundamental right to life, the Supreme Court said Thursday, imploring all states to scrupulously enforce guidelines on wearing masks and distancing. social in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At the same time, the high court suspended an order from Gujarat’s high court that sought to punish those who did not wear masks in public by assigning them to Covid-19 centers to perform non-medical tasks, calling the punishment “disproportionate.”
A bank headed by Judge Ashok Bhushan lamented that people have recently shown an unwillingness to follow guidelines aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, and authorities were apathetic in implementing the rules on masks and social distancing.
“Those who do not wear masks are affecting the fundamental rights of others. They can harm other people’s health, ”commented the court, which also included Justices RS Reddy and MR Shah.
When Attorney General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the Center and the Gujarat government, said that there was nothing to show that the police could be encouraging the trend, the court responded: “The truth is easily seen. And we’re not just talking about one state, but about the problem across the country. “
The court added that these guidelines and standard operating procedures had been issued by the Union Ministry of Health and also by the states, but the main obstacle was their implementation.
“There is a lack of will everywhere. There is no implementation. Everyone moves without masks in markets, shopping malls, weddings and all kinds of ceremonies. Are there more than 1,000 people at a marriage ceremony? How is this happening? What are the police doing? ”The bank asked Mehta.
He also had a low opinion of large gatherings in marriages and processions, noting that some states had even eliminated the need to seek prior approval from the authorities to organize such congregations.
Mehta accepted that this was an all-India problem and that the higher court can order certain urgent measures, including imposing a higher fine on violators.
In this, the bank reiterated that increasing the fine may not be enough until there is proper implementation.
Mehta, on behalf of the Gujarat government, had requested the suspension of the high court order to send those who did not wear masks in public to perform non-medical tasks at Covid-19 centers as punishment.
The court agreed with the attorney general that such punishment can pose serious health risks even to non-Covid-19 people, and suspended this part of the order.
But at the same time, the court stressed that the suspension order cannot be interpreted as an incentive for people not to wear masks.
Therefore, the court ordered Gujarat’s additional secretary, Home, to ensure that the requirement to wear a mask and social distancing were rigorously implemented. He also ordered the state police to ensure that all guidelines are implemented in the state.
In addition, he asked all state governments to send suggestions before Monday on how to control public gatherings and ensure compliance with the requirement to wear masks and maintain social distancing.
The bank said it will consider issuing instructions to all states after responses are received.