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Updated: Dec 13, 2020

By P. Nagajothi, Advocate, Dindigul District Court

Till now 40,23,179 people were affected, 69,635 people have died in India due to COVID-19. In Tamil Nadu, 4,51,827 have been affected and the state has recorded 7,687. Wearing a mask and social distancing is the only precaution to prevent us from the Coronavirus but many people are wandering in the public without wearing the mask and they never maintain the social distancing. It helps the virus to spread easily. The Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu instructed to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing but most of the people flew their instruction in the air. Hence, the Tamil Nadu Government decided to pass an ordinance in the ‘Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939.

On September 4, 2020, Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit promulgated the ‘Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 (Second Amendment) Ordinance, 2020 as per the wish of the Tamil Nadu Government to make violations against social distancing and lockdown a compoundable offence.

A press release from Raj Bhavan held that many institutions and shops are not following the guideline properly, as a result of putting themselves and others at risk. Further, violence against persons implementing these measures has also been brought to the notice of the government. “Such acts of violence hinder the measures taken to control the spread of COVID-19 in the community and deter the advancement of public health. Thus, it is necessary to make the violations against lockdown and social distancing measures taken to contain the spread of COVID-19 compoundable offences and also prohibit the acts of violence against the persons implementing these measures. Hence, the government has decided to amend the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939”, the press release said.

The public health experts have also stressed the government to adopt mandatory wearing of masks, maintain social distancing and to be in quarantine if required as essentials to prevent the spread of the COVID-19.

What does the Ordinance say?

The Tamil Nadu Government has amended Section 76(2) of the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939 and declared the following as compoundable offences:

1. Violation of Standard Operating Procedure in Salon, Spa, Gymnasium and commercial establishments - Rs. 5000

2. Non-adherence to the guidelines in containment zones

(a) By Individuals Rs. 500

(b) In respect of vehicles or commercial establishments Rs. 5000

3. Violation of quarantine measures - Rs. 500

4. Non-wearing of mask covering mouth and nose - Rs. 200

5. Spitting in public places - Rs. 500

6. Violation of social distancing norms by individuals or group - Rs. 500


This is a pandemic condition that the world is facing nowadays. Every citizen should follow the guidelines provided by the government. We don’t know when the virus will stop spreading and till now many countries are working hard to find the medicines for the coronavirus. Until that wearing mask and social distancing are the only precautions to prevent this disease. Thus, the government makes an ordinance to make the mandatory wearing of a mask, social distancing and quarantine if required. Stay Indoor! Stay Safe!


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