The HC bence said that while the state has made it compulsory for all to wear masks, there is no uniformity in the amount collected as fine for violating the norm.
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday told the Maharashtra government that besides imposing fines in case of violation of Covid-19 norms in Mumbai, the state and BMC should also consider providing masks to homeless, beggars and those living below the poverty line.
A division bench of Chief Justice (CJ) Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed filed by Lokshahiwadi Balasaheb Sarode Smriti Prabodhan Upakram through advocates Asim Sarode and Ajinkya Udane. It said that while the state has made it compulsory for all wear masks, there is no uniformity in the amount collected as fine for violating the norm.
“You may also provide masks to homeless, beggars and people living below the poverty line. It is quite possible for you. There should be some drive on your part for these unattended persons staying below flyovers or on pavements. Sometimes we see no one is wearing masks. What is the government doing?” the bench asked. Providing vaccination facilities to the underprivileged should also be considered, it added.
Referring to personal experience, CJ Datta said that strict vigil by police personnel and BMC marshals was required even in areas where “high-profile” people live. He noted that despite high-rise buildings in such areas reporting a large number of cases, some people still come out of their houses without caring for their own or others’ lives. The HC asked the government why sufficient police personnel are not being deputed to keep a vigil along with civic body marshals at such places.
The court went on to ask the state and the BMC to deploy civic body marshals to implement Covid-19 restrictions across the city. It further asked the state to consider using a logo or sticker on masks used by speech and hearing impaired persons to identify them.
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