The government railway police (GRP) has registered 12 cases this year under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for violating Covid-19 norms.
Out of the 12 cases, six have been registered by Kalyan GRP, two by Andheri and CSTM GRP and one by Kurla and Vashi GRP. In 2020, only five people were booked under section 188 by GRP, outside the Mumbai jurisdiction.
“As Covid-19 cases gradually decreased after the deadly second wave in April-May, authorities started lifting restrictions in phases, allowing people to step back into normal lives slowly. But it seems Mumbaikars are in a hurry; Covid protocol fatigue has to set in,” said a GRP official.
According to the data provided by BMC, to date, around 24,000 passengers have been fined in the railway premises for not wearing a mask. A total fine of Rs 50 lakh was collected from the offenders.
“Unless there are police or other enforcement teams/personnel around, people have a casual approach towards following rules even though Mumbai was the worst affected city during the second wave,” said another GRP official. The official added that people have become more careless and fearless too. On top of that, people have started arguing when asked for a fine; hence we started taking action under section 188 of IPC against those offenders.
What is section 188?
Those violating the lockdown orders can face legal action under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897, which lays down punishment as per Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, for defying such orders.
He or she is directed to abstain from a particular act or to take specific order with certain property in his possession or under his management disobeying such direction. If such disobedience, annoyance or injury to any persons lawfully employed, be punished with simple imprisonment for a term that may extend to one month or a fine that may extend to two hundred rupees, or with both.
And if such disobedience causes or tends to cause danger to human life, health or safety, or causes or tends to cause a riot or affray, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees, or with both.
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