High court of Punjab and Haryana expressed that  persons who wear masks leaving their nose and mouth exposed would be treated on the same as those not wearing masks and will face same consequences of not wearing the mask:

High court of Punjab and Haryana expressed that persons who wear masks leaving their nose and mouth exposed would be treated on the same as those not wearing masks and will face same consequences of not wearing the mask:

The Punjab & Haryana High Court has observed that persons who wear masks leaving their mouth and/or nose exposed would be treated on the same footing as those not wearing masks at all.

The court was hearing the petition filed on the COVID-19 situation in the State of Haryana the Bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh stated that the

“Persons who wear the masks casually leaving their mouth and/or nose exposed would be treated on the same footing as those not wearing the mask at all and liable to same punitive action.”

Moreover, the court directed the states of Punjab and Haryana to depute officials of the municipal bodies/health authorities to ensure that mask etiquette is followed by the general public.

“Heads of the public as well as private institutions would sensitize the employees to wear masks in appropriate manner.”

Additional Advocate General for Haryana Ankur Mittal told the Court that nodal agencies in every district – headed by the Deputy Commissioner, concerned Superintendent of Police, a representative of the Municipal Council/Corporation, and a civil surgeon – were functional and the Secretary of the Legal Services Authority in every district would also be a member of the said Committee.

Advocate Navkiran Singh brought to the notice of the Court the fact that certain private hospitals were charging exorbitant fees and were fleecing the public. This, he said, was happening due to a lack of control by the authorities.

The states assured the Court that such grievance would be promptly looked into and that punitive measures shall be taken against such private hospitals and medical institutions if the situation so warrants. They added that surprise checks shall also be conducted by the concerned authorities on such private facilities.

Meanwhile, the government representative provided a number of assurances to the Bench over the COVID-19 preparedness. As such, no further orders were passed by the Court and the petition was thereby disposed of with liberty to the amicus curiae to seek revival of the petition, if necessary.

Furthermore, the states have been ordered to file a status report regarding day-to-day developments in every district by way of a short affidavit in the Registry within a week.

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