People wait at the Ahmedabad civil hospital (file photo) | Praveen Jain | ThePrint

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to come up with a notification, making it mandatory for those violating the face mask rule to do community service at COVID-19 centres as a punishment in addition to the fine imposed on them.

A division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice J B Pardiwala in its order said the community service at COVID-19 centres shall be non-medical in nature and shall be for four-six hours for 5 to 15 days, as authorities deem fit.

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The order came on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the court’s direction to make community service at COVID-19 centres mandatory for face mask rule violators.

The PIL said many people were found violating the rule, resulting in a spike in COVID-19 cases.

The court in its order said, “Any person found not wearing or using face mask cover in a public place and/or violating the COVID protocol of social distance shall be mandated to do community service at any COVID centre run by local authorities.”

“Such mandate of community service to be implemented for all violators without any discrimination. These duties shall be non-medical in nature, such as cleaning, housekeeping, cooking…,” it said.

The nature of duty shall be appropriately decided by the authorities considering age, qualification and gender of rule violators, it said.

Also read: India registers 36,604 new Covid infections, caseload rises to 94.99 lakh


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