Supreme Court to hear PIL against posters outside homes of COVID-19 patients

Published: 30 October, 2020 20:46 IST | IANS | Mumbai

The plea said the decision and action of affixing posters outside residences of Covid-19 positive persons and disclosure of such names violates Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution

Supreme Court
Supreme Court

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea against the decision of state governments and Union Territories to affix posters outside residences of Covid-19 patients, who are required to stay in home isolation.

The plea filed by Delhi resident Kush Kalra, through advocate Chinmoy Pradip Sharma, said the decision and action of affixing posters outside residences of Covid-19 positive persons and disclosure of such names violates Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.

"Affixing posters outside residences of Covid-19 positive persons amounts to unprecedented violation of the right to privacy which is a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution", said the PIL.

Contending that affixing posters is a primitive practice which was carried out in 18th century to deal with plague, the plea has argued that Covid-19 positive people who are already battling severe physical illness and the associated mental trauma are subjected to stigmatisation, due to this practice of affixing posters outside their homes.

"Affixing posters outside their homes leads to their illness is being widely publicised amongst other residents of a colony or apartment complex as well as household staff of neighbours, vendors, passers-by and other unrelated persons," it contended.

On Thursday, after a brief hearing in the matter, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R. Subhash Reddy and M.R. Shah agreed to hear the petition on November 5. "Let the petitioner serve a copy of this petition to the office of the Solicitor General," it said.

The petitioner has urged the top court to issue direction quashing the decision taken to affix posters outside residences of Covid-19 patients.

The top court was also requested to issue direction to stop forthwith circulation of names of Covid-19 positive persons in any WhatsApp group belonging to resident welfare associations or neighbourhood welfare groups.

The plea argues that the decision and action to affix posters does not in any way factor in the sense of proportionality as the action goes beyond the extent of measures required to curb and control the spread of Covid-19. "It is extremely important to note that affixing of posters does not in any manner curb or control such spread. There is also has no rationale or basis for such practice," added the plea.

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