Why No Special Masks For Hearing & Visually Impaired? Bombay High Court Seeks State’s Response

first_imgNews UpdatesWhy No Special Masks For Hearing & Visually Impaired? Bombay High Court Seeks State’s Response Sharmeen Hakim27 March 2021 9:26 PMShare This – xThe Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought the State’s response on a PIL seeking uniformity in fines collected from mask violators or special masks for hearing and speech impaired citizens, to ensure ease in communication. A division bench of Justices SP Deshmukh and GS Kulkarni heard the PIL filed by NGO Lokshahiwadi Balasaheb Sarode Samiti Prabodhan Upakaram, which further…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Bombay High Court on Wednesday sought the State’s response on a PIL seeking uniformity in fines collected from mask violators or special masks for hearing and speech impaired citizens, to ensure ease in communication. A division bench of Justices SP Deshmukh and GS Kulkarni heard the PIL filed by NGO Lokshahiwadi Balasaheb Sarode Samiti Prabodhan Upakaram, which further seeks accountability and transparency in the use of funds collected through fines. “The pandemic is here to stay. We have completely forgotten that there should be some special mask for these persons. How would you otherwise recognise these persons?” the bench observed. “Why shouldn’t the fine amount be uniform?” the bench sought to know before seeking a reply to the PIL from the State and posting the matter for hearing in the coming week. Background The petition filed through advocate Asim Sarode assisted by Advocate Ajinkya Udane states that various authorities across Maharashtra like the Police, Corporation, Nagar Parishad and even Solid Waste Management Committees are collecting fines ranging from Rs100 to Rs1000 “Crores of rupees have been collected in the form of fine,” Sarode informed the court. The petition states that authorities must spend all the amount collected through fine on health issues or to purchase masks for below poverty line families who may not be able to afford these masks. Sarode mentioned veteran journalist P Sainath’s Book ‘Everybody loves good drought’ and argued in court that the government seems to be exploiting the pandemic situation to mint money. Hearing and speech impaired citizens are facing huge problems due to the masks, Sarode argued. “Special masks with some symbol need to be distributed to deaf and dumb people. Social justice ministry may be asked to do so,” Sarode said. The petition states that the entire fine amount should be deposited in court by government authorities. During the hearing, Sarode submitted that fines should be imposed for not wearing masks but there shall be accountability as to how the fine amount is being used. “There has to be SOP as to where to wear a mask and where not to,” he said. He submitted that even people in private cars are being fined for not wearing masks. “They shall decide any rule, but there needs to be uniformity,” he argued. “Pandemic is here to stay. We have completely forgotten that there should be some special mask for these persons. How would you otherwise recognise them?” justice Kulkarni observed. “By sign language,” Government Pleader PP Kakade responded. Justice Kulkarni asked, “Why shouldn’t the amount of fine be uniform? Every corporation has its own policy?” On a query, if the police are also collecting fines, Kakade said the civic authorities have given the police powers. The Court then asked the State to file an affidavit and kept the matter for next week. Next Storylast_img

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