The Supreme Court said that once posters are pasted outside the homes of COVID-19 patients, these people are treated as “untouchables”, reflecting a different “ground reality”.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah said that the ground reality is “something different” and as once such posters are pasted at their homes, they are treated as untouchables. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that some states on their own are pursuing this practice to prevent the spread of the virus. Mehta said the Centre has filed its reply to the plea in pursuance of the top court’s direction asking it to consider issuing nationwide guidelines to do away with practice of pasting posters outside the homes of COVID-19 patients. The Centre informed the Supreme court that although it has not prescribed this rule, the practice has nothing to do with “stigmatising” COVID-19 patients as it is aimed at protecting other people.
The bench had observed that when the Delhi government has agreed in the high court not to paste posters, why cannot the Centre come up with guidelines dealing with the matter for the entire country. The Supreme Court on November 5 had asked the Centre to consider issuing the guidelines to do away with practice of pasting posters outside the homes of COVID-19 patients.