The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Government and SDMC to take all action, such as fumigation and sanitization, similar to the measures as are being adopted for Containment/Buffer Zones, in the area which has significant old age persons residing.
The petitioner has filed a writ petition seeking directions to the government to perform their duties to ensure that all the directives laid down by the COVID-19 Management are carried out in and around property bearing no. 197-C, Cariappa Marg, M.B.Road, Delhi and ensure that no guest house is run illegally and neither any portion of the said property is rented out to any person whatsoever who can be a threat to the life and safety of the residents.
The petitioner also sought to prohibit the government from granting any permission, license or approval to run any guest house in the vicinity of Cariappa Marg, Delhi till all the directives laid down by government are duly complied with and safety and well being of residents are assured.
The Government Counsel said that health workers are the front-line warriors of the COVID-19 pandemic and cannot be asked to move away from the property in question. The petitioner said that him being a senior citizen presently living with five other senior citizens, with what is described as ‘co-morbidities’, they are anxious about their health and well-being as measures relating to hygiene are not being adhered to by the occupants of property who are numerous in number and which opens the petitioner and the other residents to a great risk of infection.
Acting upon the plea, the single judge bench of Justice Asha Menon, observed that no one has a right to ask for the removal of the resident health workers from their neighbourhood because of an unrealistic fear of the Covid-19. The government cannot escape their obligation to provide a protected environment to the senior citizens and other residents adjacent to such buildings which are occupied by the health workers.
The High Court directed the Delhi government & SDMC to take all action, such as fumigation and sanitization, similar to the measures as are being adopted for Containment/Buffer Zones, in the area in question and may also adopt the practice/protocol in other zone/areas where health workers are residing, which would also assuage the fears of other residents in the same locality, that they may be exposed to greater risk of infection.
The High Court has listed the case for further hearing on 28th March, 2020 and directed the authorities to file action taken report by the next date.
-India Legal Bureau