Pune police collect Rs 1.40 crore in fines from ‘mask offenders’ in eight days
While those not wearing masks at public places were warned under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) since Covid-19 cases broke in the city, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had not authorised the police to collect fines.Updated: Sep 12, 2020 06:56 IST
Acting tough against mask offenders, the Pune police collected Rs 1.40 crore from 27,989 violators between September 2 and September 10. The action was carried out across all police zones in the city.
While those not wearing masks at public places were warned under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) since Covid-19 cases broke in the city, Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had not authorised the police to collect fines.
The action was backed by fine after union minister Prakash Javadekar and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar urged the police to implement it pointing out that rising virus cases in the city.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) national directive for Covid-19 management states: “Wearing of face cover is compulsory in public places; in workplaces; and during transport”. The directive empowers the police to prosecute people without masks.
After the state home department gave its authorisation to the police to take action against offenders, police stations, including the traffic branch, have been ordered to fine mask offenders. Standing instructions have been issued to lodge FIRs against persons who argue and obstruct government servants from discharging their duties.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar has ordered municipal corporations to take effective steps to check virus spread and delegated powers to the city police to recover fine of Rs 500 from residents found not wearing mask in public places.
Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Bachchan Singh said, “People need to follow virus prevention norms strictly. Our action against offenders is to sensitise the public. From September, Pune police intensified action against people not wearing masks and offenders were fined Rs 500.
Zone 1- 4,576
Zone 2- 4,049
Zone 3- 3,589
Zone 4- 4,431
Zone 5- 5,462
Traffic police- 5,882
Rs 500 Fine collected from mask offender
Standard operating procedures (SOP) for cops while taking action
When taking action against a person who travels without a mask, the reason for fine, violator’s name and place must be mentioned in the receipt issued post fine collection
Penalties should not be imposed without a receipt
People who do not have masks and those who deliberately do not wear masks fall under priority category for taking action
Wider dissemination on information related to dangers of not wearing masks and avoid disputes while taking punitive action.
A person who is alone and travels without a mask, but is not in contact/conversation with anyone should be given instructions about using a mask first.
Even after giving a message, if the person is indifferent to the advice or the person is found to be deliberately avoiding the use of the mask, penalty should be imposed and a receipt issued
All officers and staff should use hand gloves, masks, face shields and sanitiser after each action. Police officers and staff should maintain a physical distance during action