The High Court dismissed an Infectious Diseases Act offender’s appeal for more time to settle a fine, citing that allowing it would defeat the deterrent aspect of the sentencing.
Chief Justice Dato Seri Paduka Steven Chong said this on agreeing with DPP Norhafizah binti Ahmad who acted as respondent.
Rashidah Mathew Ragie, 24, was ordered to settle a BND6,000 fine or serve two months’ imprisonment after she pleaded guilty in the Magistrate’s Court on November 11, 2021 to contravening the directives issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH) prohibiting mass gathering amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the Sultanate.
On September 23, 2021, Rashidah and seven others were arrested for attending a loud party into the wee hours, which the police had to break up after receiving a complaint from the public.
Rashidah had sought for a time extension and proposed a BND300 monthly repayment plan to settle the fine.
Dismissing the appeal, the Chief Justice said, “Rashidah’s behaviour demonstrated irresponsibility, self-indulgence, selfish disregard for the safety of others, particularly the vulnerable members of our community, and defiance of the law.
“The court must send a clear signal that such conduct will not be tolerated”.