Plea in HC against police fines for COVID-19 management norms violation

Plea in HC against police fines for COVID-19 management norms violation
New Delhi, Jul 7 () A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court challenging a provision which empowers police officers of Sub Inspector rank or above to impose fines on anyone violating the Delhi Epidemic Diseases (Management of COVID-19) Regulations of 2020.

The petition was listed before a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan which on Tuesday asked the petitioner's lawyer to ascertain whether a similar matter is being examined by the Supreme Court.

The court also asked Delhi government standing counsel Ramesh Singh to verify whether such a matter was before the apex court and listed the petition on July 28.

The bench did not pass any interim order for stay, as sought by the petitioner''s lawyer.
The petition filed by Sonia Rana, a lawyer, contended that imposing of a fine amounts to handing down a punishment which can only be awarded by a judge, not a police officer.

Advocate Dhananjay Singh Sehrawat, appearing for Rana, contended that in view of such a provision in the Regulations, it was against the principles of natural justice.

Under the regulations an authorised person is empowered to impose a fine of Rs 500 for the first time and a further fine of Rs 1,000 for repeat violation of quarantine rules -- not maintaining social distancing, not wearing masks, spitting in public places and consumption of tobacco products in public places.

The petition has sought quashing of the provision in the regulations which empowers the police officers to impose fines for these violations. HMP SKV SA

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