The court added that these guidelines and standard operating procedures had been issued by the Union health ministry and states too, but the major hurdle was of their implementation.(File photo for representation)
The court added that these guidelines and standard operating procedures had been issued by the Union health ministry and states too, but the major hurdle was of their implementation.(File photo for representation)

‘No mask violates the right to life of others’, says Supreme Court

People not wearing masks in public spaces are violating the fundamental right to life of everyone else, the Supreme Court said on Thursday as it implored all states to enforce the guidelines on wearing masks and social distancing scrupulously in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.
By Utkarsh Anand | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 04, 2020 04:59 AM IST

People not wearing masks in public spaces are violating the fundamental right to life of everyone else, the Supreme Court said on Thursday as it implored all states to enforce the guidelines on wearing masks and social distancing scrupulously in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the same time, the apex court stayed a Gujarat high court order that sought to punish those not wearing masks in public by assigning them to Covid-19 centres to perform non-medical duties, terming the punishment “disproportionate”.

A bench headed by justice Ashok Bhushan regretted that people have been recently showing a lack of will to follow the guidelines meant to prevent the spread of the virus, and the authorities were apathetic in implementing the norms on masks and social distancing.

“Those who are not wearing masks are affecting fundamental rights of others. They may hamper health of other people,” remarked the bench, which also included justices RS Reddy and MR Shah.

When solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre and the Gujarat government, said there was nothing to show that the police could be encouraging the trend, the bench retorted: “Truth can easily be seen. And we are not talking only about one state but the problem across the nation.”

The court added that these guidelines and standard operating procedures had been issued by the Union health ministry and states too, but the major hurdle was of their implementation.

“There is a lack of will everywhere. There is no implementation. Everybody is moving without masks in markets, malls, marriages and all kinds of ceremonies. There are more than 1,000 people in a marriage ceremony? How is this happening? What is police doing,” the bench asked Mehta.

It also took a dim view of large gatherings in marriages and processions, observing that some states had even done away with the necessity of seeking prior approval from the authorities for organising such congregations.

Mehta accepted that it was a pan-India problem, and that certain urgent measures, including imposition of a higher fine on violators, can be ordered by the apex court.

At this, the bench reiterated that enhancing the fine may not suffice until there is proper implementation.

Mehta, on behalf of the Gujarat government, had sought a stay of the high court order to send those not wearing masks in public to perform non-medical duties in Covid-19 centres as punishment.

The bench concurred with the solicitor general that such punishment may pose serious health risks even to non-Covid-19 persons, and stayed this part of the order.

But at the same time, the court underlined that the stay order cannot be construed as encouraging people to not wear masks.

Thus, the bench directed Gujarat’s additional secretary, home, to ensure the requirement of wearing mask and social distancing were rigorously implemented. It also directed the state police to make certain all guidelines are implemented in the state.

It further asked all state governments to submit suggestions by Monday on how to control public gatherings and ensure compliance with the requirement of wearing masks and maintaining social distancing.

The bench said it will consider issuing directions for all states after the responses are received.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
app
Close
An alumni of BHU, the BSP leader is known for his deep insight into UP politics and JD-U is all set to enter into the political arena in UP in the next assembly elections. (HT FILE PHOTO) (Image used for representation).
An alumni of BHU, the BSP leader is known for his deep insight into UP politics and JD-U is all set to enter into the political arena in UP in the next assembly elections. (HT FILE PHOTO) (Image used for representation).

Sole BSP MLA Md Jama Khan set to join JD(U) in Bihar

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:56 AM IST
  • Khan won from the Chainpur Assembly seat on a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) ticket in the 2020 assembly elections and is all set to join JD-U soon.
Close
The vaccination target for Friday was 3,703 healthcare workers of which 2,308 were vaccinated in 35 sessions. (FILE PHOTO).(AP)
The vaccination target for Friday was 3,703 healthcare workers of which 2,308 were vaccinated in 35 sessions. (FILE PHOTO).(AP)

Uttarakhand reports 62% vaccination, more than 10,000 health workers inoculated

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 01:43 AM IST
  • Since January 16, a total of 10,514 healthcare workers have been vaccinated in Uttarakhand in 171 sessions.
Close
The government has offered 4.38 hectares of land to saints near Ganga.(Photo@tsrawatbjp)
The government has offered 4.38 hectares of land to saints near Ganga.(Photo@tsrawatbjp)

Uttarakhand accepts saints’ request for burial land to check jal samadhi

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:55 AM IST
The decision was taken by the state government during the cabinet meeting chaired by chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat at the CM house.
Close
AASU, which spearheaded the anti-CAA protests in the state in December 2019 and also last month, launched a 3-day protest against the legislation beginning Friday. (PTI PHOTO) (Image used for representation).
AASU, which spearheaded the anti-CAA protests in the state in December 2019 and also last month, launched a 3-day protest against the legislation beginning Friday. (PTI PHOTO) (Image used for representation).

Ahead of PM Modi’s Assam visit, AASU takes out torch rallies against CAA

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:48 AM IST
  • The PM is scheduled to address a public rally at Jerenga Pathar in Sivasagar district on Saturday and distribute land allotment certificates to over 1,06,000 landless people.
Close
Maharashtra government appealed to the Supreme Court against the high court’s decision and filed a caveat in the apex court seeking exclusion of the 18 villages from KDMC. (HT PHOTO)
Maharashtra government appealed to the Supreme Court against the high court’s decision and filed a caveat in the apex court seeking exclusion of the 18 villages from KDMC. (HT PHOTO)

Short of attendance while pregnant, DU law student gets relief from top court

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:30 AM IST
  • The petitioner, had joined the 3-year law course at Law Centre-II of the Faculty of Law, Delhi University in August 2016. She was a married woman who attended the evening law course and successfully cleared three semesters. In the fourth semester, she became pregnant and could not attend classes.
Close
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurating the state's first child-friendly police station in Dehradun on Friday. (Paras Negi/HT PHOTO).
Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat inaugurating the state's first child-friendly police station in Dehradun on Friday. (Paras Negi/HT PHOTO).

Uttarakhand CM announces 1 crore fund for welfare of orphans, street kids

PUBLISHED ON JAN 23, 2021 12:01 AM IST
  • The child-friendly police station has been developed under an initiative by the state commission for protection of child rights and police to provide a friendly environment to the children on the streets to prevent them from stepping into the world of crime.
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Covaxin well-tolerated: Phase 1 peer-review

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:42 PM IST
New Delhi Bharat Biotech Covaxin was well tolerated with no vaccine-related serious adverse events in a small group of volunteers, according to a peer review of the company’s phase 1 clinical trials published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases on Friday
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Cong wants JPC to probe ‘security breach’

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:41 PM IST
New Delhi: The Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s highest executive body, on Friday stepped up its attack on the chat transcripts between journalist Arnab Goswami and Partho Dasgupta, demanding a joint parliamentary committee probe into what it called a breach of national security
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Local Body elections: Andhra govt, state poll panel at loggerheads

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:39 PM IST
Hyderabad : The Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy government of Andhra Pradesh and state election commissioner (SEC) Ramesh Kumar on Friday headed for a showdown over the conduct of elections to village councils in the state in February
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Follow my father’s ideology... he’d never, ever give up on idea of India: Mehbooba Mufti

UPDATED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:39 PM IST
Mehbooba Mufti, 61, was the last chief minister of Jammu & Kashmir before the momentous events of August 5, 2019, when the Centre scrapped the special status and converted the state into two Union territories
Close
HT Image
HT Image

Elephant dies of burn injuries; two arrested

By Divya Chandrababu
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:38 PM IST
Chennai: A horrific video emerged on Friday of two men throwing a flaming cloth onto an elephant in Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiris district and the animal trumpeting and running away in pain
Close
HT Image
HT Image

PM talks to health workers to dispel fears over vaccines

By HT Correspondent, Varanasi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:36 PM IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday sought to set at rest fears and misconceptions over the efficacy and safety of Covid-19 vaccines, and sought to dispel the “vaccine hesitancy” that has kept the turnouts low at inoculation centres
Close
HT Image
HT Image

BSY reshuffles cabinet to contain dissent

By Sharan Poovanna
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:35 PM IST
Bengaluru Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Friday caved into demands of dissenting ministers and made changes to his cabinet by redistributing portfolios to calm tempers, barely a day after rebellion broke out within his government
Close
HT Image
HT Image

CBI books Cambridge Analytica over Facebook data theft

By Neeraj Chauhan
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:35 PM IST
New Delhi: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a case against Alexander Nix of British political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica (CA) and Aleksandr Kogan of Global Science Research Limited, UK, for allegedly harvesting personal data of up to 562,000 Indians from Facebook for commercial purposes, officials said on Friday
Close
Bharatiya Janata Party national president JP Nadda is on a two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and state unit chief Swatantra Dev Singh received him in Lucknow on Thursday. (Deepak Gupta/HT PHOTO).
Bharatiya Janata Party national president JP Nadda is on a two-day visit to Uttar Pradesh. UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath and state unit chief Swatantra Dev Singh received him in Lucknow on Thursday. (Deepak Gupta/HT PHOTO).

Be factually correct, focus on quality: Nadda to BJP's social media cell in UP

PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 11:33 PM IST
  • The BJP chief directed the volunteers to keep reminding people of the good work done by the state and central governments on social media since public memory was known to be short.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP