The supreme court on Tuesday, 1 Dec observed that the practice of conspicuously affixing posters outside the residence of Covid-19 positive patients creates stigma and often leads to a situation where patients may be treated as untouchables.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, B R Gavai and M R Shah made the observations while hearing a plea which has challenged the decision of various states government to affix posters outside the house of Covid-19 patients who are in isolation at their homes.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted before court that centre has failed it's affidavit in the case on Nov 30 accepting that such posters are meant to ensure that nobody unknowingly enters the house of Covid-19 positive patient.
The hard reality is that many such patients are treated as untouchables - Justice MR Shah remarked. The PIL has challenged the affixing of posters outside the homes of COVID-19 patients as a mark of identification. Disclosure of the identity of patients is violation of their fundamental Right to privacy. The plea has further sought directions to enter such disclosure of names does not take place and has requested to quash the executive orders of State and Union Territories that allow affixing of posters outside homes of the Covid-19 patients.
It is stated that Constitution does not and can never permit discrimination on the ground of illness and physical suffering, adding that circulation of names of such patients publicly and subjecting them to the threat to the public goes against the ethos of living with dignity.
“Affixing posters outside their homes lead to their illness is being widely publicised amongst other residents of a colony or apartment complex as well as household staff of neighbors, vendors and other unrelated persons,” plea has averred.