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Man fined for holding wedding anniversary dinner with at least 20 people in breach of Covid-19 rules

SINGAPORE — Despite prevailing Covid-19 laws that barred groups of more than eight people from gathering in public, Ganesan Angudan organised a dinner involving at least 20 people to celebrate his in-laws’ wedding anniversary.

Man fined for holding wedding anniversary dinner with at least 20 people in breach of Covid-19 rules

Ganesan Angudan leaving the State Courts on Oct 26, 2021.

SINGAPORE — Despite prevailing Covid-19 laws that barred groups of more than eight people from gathering in public, Ganesan Angudan organised a dinner involving at least 20 people to celebrate his in-laws’ wedding anniversary.

For his actions in April this year, the 39-year-old Singaporean was fined S$3,000 on Tuesday (Oct 26). He pleaded guilty to one count of breaching the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020.

The court heard that on April 3, after deciding to hold the dinner, he booked a multi-purpose event space at Lotus@Norris in the Little India area for use a week later.

He paid the owner S$700 for the booking and invited about 30 people, including friends and relatives.

At the time, restrictions under the third phase of Singapore’s gradual reopening after a semi-lockdown were in place. These included a cap of eight people gathering in public.

At about 7pm on April 10, he gathered with at least 20 people who were not from his household for the dinner celebration, which went on for three hours.

The guests were seated at tables of about five to six people, but there was no 1m safe distancing between them and they intermingled freely between different tables. Some guests were also unmasked even when they were not drinking or eating.

Two police officers then went to the venue at about 10pm, in response to a complaint from a member of the public that a lot of noise and smoke was emanating from the venue.

When they got there, the officers observed a large group of people including Ganesan.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ruth Teng sought a fine of between S$3,000 and S$4,000, noting that there was some attempt to segregate the attendees but they had ultimately intermingled. The duration of the dinner was also prolonged and involved numerous people.

She also urged the court to send a clear deterrent signal to potential offenders.

“We are still in the midst of an unprecedented crisis, which has dealt a heavy blow to Singapore’s economy and way of life. In the interest of public health and safety, the public cannot afford to be complacent,” the prosecutor added.

Those convicted of breaching Covid-19 laws can be jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$10,000, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime Covid-19 coronavirus breach dining

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