The Supreme Court dismissed a plea in the Supreme Court which sought for directions against Public Sector Enterprises who were treating themselves as government offices and were opening up despite the institution of the nationwide lockdown in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The PIL had been moved against the "illegal opening of offices during the nationwide lockdown by Public Sector Enterprises (PSEs) such as SAIL and NBCC etc. by wrongly identifying and equating themselves as government department/offices". Filed by Advocate Anil K. Aggarwal, the plea raised issues and concerns regarding public health and safety due to the illegal opening of the offices and resumption of operations by unexempted central PSEs/government-owned companies such as SAIL and NBCC which deal in non-essential goods and services. The petition further submitted that the direction passed by these companies for resumption of work were against the restrictions on movement and preventive measures taken by the Central Government/Government of NCT of Delhi for containment of the virus. Agarwal, the Petitioner-in- Person, informed the Bench that the PSEs were treating themselves as government office, thereby overlooking the health safety concerns of hteir employees and family members. However, the Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul and BR Gavai was not inclined to entertain the matter and dismissed the same. The Bench also observed that many advocates were filing petitions as Petitioner-in-Persons and questioned the practice.