Home / India News / New ordinance gets nod, people violating Covid-19 norms in Uttarakhand could face jail term
The Uttarakhand government on Tuesday amended Covid-19 rules by making not wearing masks, damaging property, defying government orders on containing epidemic, and violent acts against healthcare workers a punishable offence.
The information was shared by the government in an official statement released on Tuesday evening.
Under the amended rules, it will be mandatory for everyone to wear masks, ‘gamcha’, handkerchief or scarf in public places or outside home. It also prohibited spitting in public place while also making it mandatory for everyone to follow the guidelines issued on the pandemic by Centre and state government.
Violation of the aforementioned rules have been made punishable under the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance 2020.
According to the statement, anyone found not wearing masks or not covering their face in public place or outside home will be fined Rs 100 for first and second-time violation. In case the person is found violating the rules for the third time, he/she would be fined Rs 200.
Similarly, in case anyone is found not following the guidelines issued by Centre and state government, that person would be fined Rs 100 for first-time violation followed by Rs 200 for second-time violation which may be extended up to Rs 500. After second-time violation, if again found flouting the guidelines, the culprit would be fined Rs 500 for every repetition of the violation. If the violators don’t pay the penalties imposed, they could be jailed up to six months or slapped a fine of up to Rs 5,000, or both of these.
In the amended rules, the government also made any violent act against any healthcare worker and damage to property in epidemic punishable.
Earlier on Tuesday, the state government had in a gazette notification, promulgated the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020, after which anyone flouting the norms of Covid-19 epidemic could be penalised and punished.
The development came after Governor Baby Rani Maurya gave her assent to the ordinance on Saturday which was passed by the state Cabinet a few weeks ago. Under the new ordinance, amendments have been done in sections 2 and 3 of The Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
The Section 2 of the act deals with powers to take special measures or prescribe regulations as to dangerous epidemic disease. The Section 3 deals with the punishment for any person disobeying any regulation or order made under the act which shall be deemed an offence punishable under Section 188 of IPC which is related to disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant.
The gazette notification issued by the state government stated, “Whereas the Legislative Assembly is not in session and the Governor is satisfied that circumstances exist which render it necessary for her to immediate action. In excercise of the power conferred by clause (1) of Article 213 of the Constitution of India, the Governor is pleased to promulgate the Ordinance- The Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Ordinance, 2020.”
As per the ordinance, a clause has been now added in Section 2 of The Epidemic Diseases Act which is related to “procurement of goods, services and equipment necessary for prevention and control of the epidemic disease and the manner of such procurement.”
After the amendment in Section 3 of the aforementioned Act, anyone “disobeying its provision or regulations or order would be punishable with either description for a term which may extend up to six months or a fine which extend to Rs 5,000 of with both.”
Under section 188 of IPC under which the accused would be punished, talks of punishment of a jail term or one month or fine of Rs 200 of both which may be extended to a jail term of six months of a fine of Rs 1,000 or both.
The ordinance, however, states that every offence punishable under the section shall be cognizable and bailable.
The Uttarakhand government had declared Covid-19 outbreak in the state as epidemic on March 14 following which it had brought the aforementioned ordinance for amendemnt in the act concerned.