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No obligation to paste posters outside the residences of COVID-19 persons: SC

Although, various submissions have been made by the petitioner in support of the writ petition but in view of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which are referable to exercise of power by the authority under Disaster Management Act, 2005 which does not contain any requirement of pasting of posters against the houses of COVID-19 patients, the above detailed submissions need no consideration in the present writ petition. The Union of India has already issued D.O. letter dated 19.11.2020 extracted above to guide the States and Union Territories, we only observe that no State or Union Territory is required to paste posters outside the residence of COVID-19 positive persons, as of now. The State Governments and Union Territories can resort the above exercise only when any direction is issued by the competent authority under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The writ petition is disposed of accordingly. (Para 13)



Kush Kalra v. Union of India

Writ Petition (Civil) No.1213 Of 2020

09 December, 2020.

Counsel for the Apepllants: Shri Chinmoy Pradip Sharma

Counsel for the Respondents: Learned Solicitor General Shri Tushar Mehta, Shri Chirag M. Shroff

The Hon’ble Supreme Court comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R. Subhash Reddy and Justice M.R. Shah held in a case that it is not obligatory to any State or Union Territory to paste the posters outside the residences of COVID- 19 positive persons.


The Petitioner filed a writ petition under Article 32 as a Public Interest Litigation which, among other things, prayed for the following:

(i) Issue a writ of certiorari quashing the decision taken by Respondent Nos. 4 to 38 of affixing posters outside residences of Covid-19 positive persons who are under home isolation;

(ii) Issue a writ of mandamus directing Respondent Nos.4 to 38 to issue appropriate Orders to ensure that its authorities put an end to the practice of affixing posters outside residences of Covid-19 positive persons who are under home isolation;


Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that (i) Affixing posters outside residences of Covid-19 positive persons amounts to unprecedented violation of the right to privacy which is a Fundamental Right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. (ii) These are the principles upon which Article 14 of the Constitution is founded. And the Constitution does not and can never permit discrimination on the ground of illness and physical suffering. (iii) The practise of affixing posters is not known or proven to serve any purpose. The decision to do so has been taken without any application of mind. It is extremely important to note that pasting of posters by the Respondents has turned out to be counterproductive.


Learned counsel for the Respondents submitted that (i) In the guidelines which have been issued by the Government, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for home isolation, there are no guidelines for pasting of posters outside the residence of COVID-19 positive persons. He has referred to the guidelines dated 02.07.2020 issued on the subject (ii) The Department of Family Welfare has also issued a D.O. letter dated 19.11.2020 that the Guidelines do not contain any instruction or guidance regarding affixing posters or other signage outside the residences of those found COVID-19 Positive.


Referring to the submission made by the Learned Solicitor General and the D.O dated 19.11.2020 issued by the Government of India to all the States and Union Territories, the Court observed the following:

Learned Solicitor General has categorically cleared the stand of the Union of India insofar as pasting of posters outside the residences of COVID-19 positive persons. It is stated that neither any such direction has been issued by the Government of India nor it is obligatory to any State or Union Territory to paste the posters outside the residences of COVID- 19 positive persons. The petitioner in the writ petition has also pleaded that the State of Punjab and NCT of Delhi which had earlier issued directions for affixing posters outside the residence of COVID- 19 patients have withdrawn the said orders and now no posters are being pasted on the outside of the houses of COVID-19 positive persons. (Para 12)

Further, the Court observed,

Although, various submissions have been made by the petitioner in support of the writ petition but in view of the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which are referable to exercise of power by the authority under Disaster Management Act, 2005 which does not contain any requirement of pasting of posters against the houses of COVID-19 patients, the above detailed submissions need no consideration in the present writ petition. The Union of India has already issued D.O. letter dated 19.11.2020 extracted above to guide the States and Union Territories, we only observe that no State or Union Territory is required to paste posters outside the residence of COVID-19 positive persons, as of now. The State Governments and Union Territories can resort the above exercise only when any direction is issued by the competent authority under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. The writ petition is disposed of accordingly. (Para 13)


View/Download Judgment: Kush Kalra v. Union of India


Kalidharun K M

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