The Supreme Court Thursday stayed the Gujarat High Court direction to send people caught without wearing masks to do community service at the COVID-19 patient care facilities.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah took note of the submissions of the Gujarat government that the order was harsh, having serious repercussions on health of the violators.
The top court also expressed displeasure over the fact that the COVID-19 guidelines are not being followed scrupulously in the state.
The top court directed that the state additional chief secretary (home) ensure that guidelines issued by the Centre as well as the Gujarat authorities on wearing masks as also social distancing are vigorously followed.
It also asked the police officials and other administrative authorities in the state to ensure that guidelines are scrupulously followed and action be taken against those found violating them.
The apex court was hearing the state government's appeal against the high court order of Wednesday.