HC notice to Delhi government on PIL seeking direction to formulate new guidelines removing requirement for pasting of posters outside houses of Covid-19 positive persons

New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Delhi Government on public interest litigation seeking direction to formulate new guidelines removing the requirement for pasting of posters outside houses or apartments of Covid-19 positive persons or persons in home isolation.

September 30, 2020

National

3 min

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New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the Delhi Government on a public interest litigation seeking direction to formulate new guidelines removing the requirement for pasting of posters outside houses or apartments of Covid-19 positive persons or persons in home isolation.
A Division Bench of Justice Hima Kohli and Justice Subramonium Prasad asked Delhi Government to file reply on the petition filed by Kush Kalra through his advocate Kush Sharma.
The petitioner Kalra has also sought direction to Delhi Government to issue directions to its officials, employees, agents, representatives to desist from circulating names of Covid-19 positive persons especially in resident welfare associations (RWA), Whatsapp groups etc.
The petition said that pasting poster outside houses of persons who test positive and are required to stay in home isolation is a serious infringement of the Fundamental Right to Privacy established by the Supreme Court. Besides, the names of persons who test positive are being freely circulated to RWAs by officials of health department of respondent which are in tum being circulated on RWA Whatsapp Groups, the petition said.
Stressing that this is also leading to stigmatisation and drawing of unnecessary attention when in reality Covid-19 persons ought to be given privacy to cope with and recover from the illness in peace away from prying eyes, the petition said that “rather, they are being made the centre of public attention of over-inquisitive neighbours and busy-bodies in their colonies.”
The petition also said that the process of publicising the names of Covid-19 positive persons is turning out to be counterproductive. People are shying away and deliberately choosing not to test themselves to shield themselves from the public embarrassment and stigmatisation which is being caused by pasting posters outside homes and circulation of names of Covid-19 positive persons to all and sundry, the petition said.
He also mentioned how state of Punjab has rescinded its earlier decision of putting posters outside the houses of COVID-19 patients under home isolation or quarantine to mitigate the stigma attached to the pandemic.
“This court ought to seriously consider these crucial aspects and decide upon the issue of pasting of posters for home isolation. Moreover, immediate directions are warranted from this Court to prevent circulation of names of Covid-19 positive persons in public,” read the plea. (ANI)

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