COVID-19 Update: Maharashtra criminalises smoking, spitting, and uses of tobacco in public places

With an intention to contain the spread of coronavirus in the view of the relaxations given as part of lockdown 5.0, Maharashtra government has made spitting, smoking and consumption of tobacco products in public spaces punishable. The announcement with respect to the same was made by state health minister Rajesh Tope.

Rajesh Tope said, “An important decision has been taken to ban the consumption, spitting and smoking of tobacco, and other tobacco products in public spaces in the state as per provisions of the Infectious Disease Act and Disaster Management Act. The orders in the ruling will be applicable everywhere in the state.”

As per the new rules, a person who spits or smokes in public place will have to pay a fine of Rs 1000 for first time offence and will have to perform one day of public service.

The second time offenders will be liable to pay a fine of Rs 3,000 and three days of public service. After the first and the second time, a person will have to pay a fine of Rs 5,000 and will be liable for five days of public service.

Apart from this, as per various sections of Bombay Police Act and IPC, the punishment for such offences will range from six months or two years of imprisonment or a fine.