Apex Court asks Centre to consider guidelines for not pasting posters outside homes of Covid patients

Apex Court asks Centre to consider guidelines for not pasting posters outside homes of Covid patients

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Thursday asked the Centre to consider issuing nationwide guidelines to do away with practice of pasting posters outside the homes of COVID-19 patients.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and M R Shah, without issuing any formal notice on one Kush Kalra's plea seeking framing of the guidelines, asked the Centre to file its reply within two weeks.

"Counsel for the respondent(s) is granted two weeks' time to file counter affidavit. List after two weeks", the bench said.

During the brief hearing, the bench observed that when the Delhi government has agreed in the high court not to paste posters, why can't the Centre come up with guidelines dealing with the matter for the entire country.

The bench told advocate Rajat Nair, appearing for the Centre, to consider the guidelines for the entire country.

On November 3, the AAP government told the Delhi High Court that it has instructed all its officials not to paste posters outside homes of COVID-19 positive persons or those in home isolation; and the ones pasted have been ordered to be removed.

The government had told the high court that its officials have also not been allowed to share details of COVID-19 positive persons with their neighbours, resident welfare associations or Whatsapp groups.

Kalra, in his plea before the high court, had contended that freely circulating to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and on Whatsapp groups, the names of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 was "leading to stigmatisation and drawing of unnecessary attention". The petition had stated that COVID-19 positive persons "ought to be given privacy to cope with and recover from the illness in peace and away from prying eyes".

"Rather, they are being made the centre of public attention..," it had said. It had also claimed that this has resulted in persons "shying away and deliberately choosing not to test themselves" to shield themselves from the "public embarrassment and stigmatisation" which is also caused by pasting posters outside homes of COVID-19 positive patients.

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