Accra, June 30, GNA - The Ghana Bar Association (GBA) has called for the review of punishment to be meted out to those who flout the mandatory wearing of nose masks.
“Much as punishments ought to be meted out to persons who flout and contravene laws, the GBA is concerned with and finds the punishment imposed in respect of persons who breach Act 1012 and E1 164, harsh.”
In a press release signed by Mr Anthony Forson Jnr, President and Mr Yaw Acheampong Boafo, Secretary of the GBA and copied the Ghana News Agency, it said it had also noted, with concern, the growing number of confirmed cases of COVID -19 in the country.
The statement said the punishment imposed by the provisions of Section 6 of Act 1012 and Paragraph 4(2) of E1 164 are severe and further that may culminate in the imposition of custodial sentences.
It further said GBA has taken note of the provisions of Section 6 of the Imposition Of Restrictions Act 2020 (Act 1012), which imposes penalties on persons who fail to comply with restrictions imposed under the Executive Instruments issued under Section 2(1) of the Act.
“It is imperative, in the view of the Bar, that all citizens and residents abide by the provisions of all legislations and in particular those that have been enacted to ensure public safety and health in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
It said “GBA is apprehensive that the prisons which are presently congested, may shortly be teeming with convicts who are unable to pay fines imposed by Courts under Section 6 and Paragraph 4(2) aforementioned”.
The GBA would therefore suggest, in the circumstances, an amendment of the said Section 6 to impose punishments that are less severe, it added.
The Bar would propose a fine of not less than ten penalty units and not more than one hundred and fifty penalty units or to a term of imprisonment of not less than one month and not more than two years.
It is our firm belief that our proposals are suffciently punitive and will deter people from violating the restrictions imposed by virtue of the law.