Big relief for lockdown-hit Bengalureans as…
Ordinance comes after thebengalurulive exposed illegality of civic agency’s ‘rule’
It’s a big thebengalurulive impact. After two major exposes on its web portal on how the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) had flouted all rules in imposing a fine of Rs 1,000 for not covering one’s face, the Government of Karnataka has now issued an ordinance stipulating a spot fine of Rs 200 in municipal corporation limits. In effect, the government’s intervention is no less than a slap on the face of the civic body for its arbitrary interpretation of the relevant laws.
On Sunday, the Karnataka Health and Family Welfare Department’s additional chief secretary Jawaid Akhtar issued a notification which reads: “In exercise of the powers conferred by sections 4, 15 and 17 of the Karnataka Epidemic Disease Ordinance 2020 (Karnataka Ordinance 7 of 2020), the Government of Karnataka hereby makes the following Regulations in continuation of the Regulations saved and continued under section 17 of the said Ordinance.”
The ordinance makes it compulsory to wear a mask or cover his/her mouth and nose with a handkerchief or other loose cloth tied properly around the mouth and nose and maintain social distancing of a minimum of 1 metre from other persons — failing which a spot fine of Rs 200 will be collected in Municipal Corporation areas and Rs 100 in areas other than Municipal Corporation areas.
The notification reads: “These Regulations may be called ‘The Karnataka Epidemic Diseases Regulations, 2020’ and shall come into force from the date of publication in the Official Gazette and shall remain in force for a period of one year or till they are withdrawn, whichever is earlier.”
The notification goes on to say: “Whoever contravenes shall be punishable under the provisions of the said Ordinance. However, a Police Officer not below the rank of Sub-Inspector, Health Inspector of Municipal Corporation, Gram Panchayat Development Officer or any other officer authorized by the Government may levy and collect a spot fine of Rs 200 in Municipal Corporation areas and Rs 100 in areas other than the Municipal Corporation areas.”
A copy of the notification has been marked to the BBMP Commissioner, Special Commissioner and Chief Health Officer.
However, no official communication had been released to the media at the time of the story being exclusively published by thebengalurulive.com.
Illegal fine continues
Meanwhile, BBMP officials continued to collect the penalty of Rs 1000, despite the state government issuing an ordinance on Sunday afternoon fixing the fine at Rs 200. The BBMP has collected Rs 98,350 as penal amount for not wearing masks. (See the table below)