With the Opposition missing from the Senate on Tuesday, as they staged yet another boycott over Covid19 protocols, government was able to pass a law that will allow for fines for the non-wearing of masks and other issues to be paid electronically.
The bill to amend legislation for electronic payments into and out of court, was passed in the Senate by Government and Independent senators and will now be debated in the House of Representatives today.
In piloting the bill, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said the bill will remove the need for people’s presence and having to line up at courts to pay fines for non-mask-wearing, maintenance or other matters, including traffic tickets. The latter constitutes a majority of court caseload.
In light of the pandemic, the AG said the bill unlocked opportunities for people to pay fines online with credit or debit cards without leaving their homes and at any time.
However, he warned that the payer will have to bear a three per cent fee plus the full fine/payment amount. He said it has worked in the Family Court and other places.
For those who lacked credit cards, special cards will be issued by the judiciary to assist those “unbanked” people.