Quarantine notices may cause stigma, says Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Tuesday said the practice of affixing public notices outside the residences of quarantining COVID-19 patients may cause stigma.

A Bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan said the “hard reality” in some cases is that such posters trigger people to treat patients in quarantine as “untouchables”.

Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta clarified that these posters are not meant to humiliate or harass patients. They are merely meant to warn outsiders from accidentally entering the quarantined space and coming into contact with the patients, which may lead to a further spread of infection during the pandemic.

Mr. Mehta said any poster which tends to humiliate a patients should be removed. He said there is no compulsion on State governments to paste such notices.

The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Kush Kulra. The petition said such posters entail the violation of the fundamental right to privacy of the patient.

These placards divulge, even “widely publicise” the names of the patients and other details to strangers, other residents in the colony or apartment complex as well as vendors, passers-by, etc.

The court scheduled the case for detailed hearing on December 3.


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