Mumbai: Maharashtra government backtracks after High Court rebuke

By Rons Bantwal

Bombay, March 5: No sanction for not applying mask shall return all fines collected so far Action will be taken against guilty Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Marshal BMC, Commissioner Iqbal Chahal, Suresh Kakani under IPC Sections 384 , 385, 420, 409, 120 (B), 109,
52 etc The efforts of Awaken India Movement (AIM) and Indian Bar Association (IBA) have had great success. The Mumbai High Court has reprimanded the government, saying Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte’s orders were illegal.

There is no provision in the Disaster Management Act 2005 to take a fine for not wearing a mask. But the former Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, Sitaram Kunte, abusing his position, issued an illegal order to impose a fine of 200 rupees and later 500 rupees on the citizens of Maharashtra.
for not wearing masks.

This case came to the attention of the High Court during the hearing of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the coercive vaccine order. This Awaken India Movement petition was filed by Firoz Mithiborwala and Yohan Tengra. The High Court clarified in its order
that Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte had no power to issue orders and that all his orders were illegal.

The plaintiff’s lawyer told the court that it was extortion to collect the fine illegally and that the guilty officers would have been entitled to life imprisonment under articles such as IPC 384, 385, 420, 409, 120 (B), 34 109, etc. Later, the mask fine was removed from the new orders issued by the government of Maharashtra. In this illegal recovery of Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte, Mumbai City Commissioner Iqbal Chahal, Suresh Kakani supported and he gave contract to other people to collect the fine.

So far more than 120 crore fine has been levied by deceiving Mumbaikars. Many movements opposed it. A new public interest litigation is going to be filed next week to order the reimbursement of all this fine, such information was given by the National President of the Indian Bar Association, Barrister Nilesh Ojha.

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