The government has banned spitting in public places under Disaster Management Act. The move has come after the Ministry of Home Affairs issued fresh guidelines for the second phase of lockdown to contain coronavirus in the country. Under the consolidated revised guidelines, spitting has been made punishable with a fine under Section 51 (b) of the Disaster Management Act.
Besides, the MHA has also prohibited the sale of tobacco and liquor. The ministry has also made wearing of facemasks at public places mandatory.
"Spitting in public spaces shall be punishable with a fine. There should be a strict ban on the sale of liquor, gutka', tobacco etc, and spitting should be strictly prohibited," directives issued by the home ministry said.
Spitting in public is an offence under municipal laws in various municipalities in the country, but it was never followed seriously.
The Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 if anyone is caught spitting in public.
Bihar, Jharkhand, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Haryana, Nagaland, and Assam have already issued orders on the ban of the use of smokeless tobacco products and spitting in public places amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
The directives shall be implemented by district magistrates through fines and penal action given under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Refusal to comply with the government orders under the Disaster Management Act may result in imprisonment up to one year or a fine, or both, the directives said.