The Supreme Court said that once the posters are placed outside the house of the Kovid-19 patients, they are being treated like ‘untouchables’ and this is a different reality statement at the ground level. The Center told the apex court that although it has not framed this rule but it does not intend to ‘stigma’ Kovid-19 patients, it aims to protect others.
Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R.K. Subhash Reddy and Justice MR. Shah’s bench said the ground reality is “somewhat different” and that they have been treated like untouchables after posting such posters on their houses. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Center, said that some states are doing this at their level to prevent the spread of infection.
Mehta said that the Center has given its reply on a court order on a petition requesting the issuance of nationwide guidelines to end the way of pasting posters on the houses of Kovid-19 patients.
The bench said, “Let the answer filed by the Center come on record, after that we will hear it on Thursday.” The apex court had on November 5 asked the Center to consider issuing guidelines to end the method of sticking posters on the houses of Kovid-19 patients.
The court, while hearing the application of Kush Kalra, sought reply without issuing a formal notice to the Center. The bench had said that when the city government in the Delhi High Court can agree not to put posters on patients’ houses, then why can’t the central government issue guidelines for the entire country in this regard.
The AAP government told the Delhi High Court on November 3 that it has instructed all its districts not to put a pastor on the houses of Kovid-19 patients or people living in home-dwellers and also remove the posters already installed.
The Delhi government told the court that its officials were also not allowed to share information related to Kovid-19 patients to their neighbors, RWA or WhatsApp group. Kalra said in the application in the High Court that sharing of the name of the Kovid-19 patient on RWA and WhatsApp group “is not only tarnishing them but also getting the attention of people without any reason”.
The application states that Kovid-19 patients “should be given privacy and they should be kept away from peace and staring eyes of people to recover from the disease.” It has been said in the application, “But they are being brought before the eyes of the world….” It also claims that people are reluctant to have their Kovid-19 investigation to avoid being publicly humiliated and tarnished, and this is all a result of pasting posters on patients’ houses.