De-board passengers who violate Covid norms: Delhi high court
The court was hearing the suo moto (on its own) proceedings justice C Hari Shankar initiated on March 5, 2021 after he found passengers flouting Covid-19 norms including masking
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Friday ordered strict action, including de-boarding of passengers violating Covid norms such as the mandatory wearing of masks and maintaining hygiene at airports as well as on aircraft as the pandemic has not abated.
A bench of acting chief justice Vipin Sanghi and justice Sachin Datta said the violators should be physically removed if needed, fined, booked, and placed on the no-fly list for deterrence and to ensure compliance.
“It is essential for respondents to ensure norms are affected properly. [Regulator] DGCA [Directorate General of Civil Aviation] should give separate binding directions to all airlines to authorise staff at airports and on aircraft to take strict action against passengers and others who violate masking and hygiene norms, “ the bench said.
The direction came as India reported the biggest single-day spike (4,283) in Covid-19 cases in at least 80 days on Wednesday, according to HT’s dashboard.
The court noted the submission of DGCA’s lawyer that it has implemented norms regarding masking at airports and on aircraft. “The issuance of the said order, in our view, is in the right direction since the pandemic has not abated and keeps springing its ugly head,” the court said as it posted the matter for hearing next on July 18.
The order came as the court was hearing the suo moto (on its own) proceedings justice C Hari Shankar initiated on March 5, 2021 after he found passengers flouting Covid-19 norms including masking. Shankar took cognisance of the “stubbornness of the fellow passengers in wearing masks below their chin” during his travel to Kolkata in March 2021. He directed immediate de-boarding of the passengers violating the norms despite warnings.
The court last year directed airlines to ensure written instructions are given to the passengers regarding the Covid-19 protocols on flights, including the measures that could be taken in case they are not followed.