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Flouting COVID-19 norms to attract hefty fines: Admin

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Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir administration on Monday decided to impose hefty fines on people violating the coronavirus management guidelines like not wearing a face mask or spitting in public places as a measure to check the rising number of infections in the union territory.

It authorised deputy commissioners to implement these standard operating procedures in the areas of their respective jurisdictions.

“Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu, in exercise of powers conferred by section 2 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 (3 of 1897), has authorised all the deputy commissioners of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir to impose penalties to prevent the spread of COVID-19 within their jurisdiction,” an official spokesman said.

As per a notification issued here issued by Financial Commissioner Health Atul Duloo, a penalty of Rs 500 would be imposed on a person not wearing a face mask in public places, Rs 2,000 for violating home quarantine instructions and Rs 500 for spitting at public places.

Owners of shops or commercial places violating social distancing norms will be fined of Rs 2,000, while a penalty of Rs 3,000 from bus owners, Rs 2,000 from car owners and Rs 500 from owners of auto-rickshaws and two-wheelers will be collected for violating the COVID-19 protocol, it said.

The decision of the administration comes as the number coronavirus cases has been on the rise over the past two weeks with the union territory registering its biggest single-day spike of 701 cases on Sunday.

Jammu and Kashmir has recorded over 14,000 coronavirus cases, while more than 240 people have died of the infection so far.

As per the notification, the non-payment of penalty by the violators would attract proceedings under section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code.

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