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Supreme Court Directs Centre To Consider Banning/Regulating Usage Of Disinfectant Tunnels/ Artificial UV Rays On Human Beings

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
5 Nov 2020 10:41 AM GMT
Supreme Court Directs Centre To Consider Banning/Regulating Usage Of Disinfectant Tunnels/ Artificial UV Rays On Human Beings
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'For spraying disinfectant on human body, fumigation or use of UV rays against the human body, there has to be regulatory regime.'

The Supreme Court has directed the Central Government to issue necessary direction regarding ban/Regulation on the usage of disinfection tunnels/ exposure of human being to artificial ultraviolet rays.In event, use of disinfectant on human body is to cause adverse effect on the health of the people, there has to be immediate remedial action and the Centre cannot stop ...

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The Supreme Court has directed the Central Government to issue necessary direction regarding ban/Regulation on the usage of disinfection tunnels/ exposure of human being to artificial ultraviolet rays.

In event, use of disinfectant on human body is to cause adverse effect on the health of the people, there has to be immediate remedial action and the Centre cannot stop only by saying that such use is not recommended, said the bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah. The court said that for spraying disinfectant on human body, fumigation or use of UV rays against the human body, there has to be regulatory regime. 

The court issued these directions while disposing a writ petition filed by Gursimran Singh Narula against use of chemical disinfectants for spraying and fumigation by organizations/public authorities. He had sought a ban on spraying of all kinds of disinfectants on human beings which is being done supposedly for protecting the human beings from the Novel Coronavirus disease 2019(Covid­19).

Before the bench, the petitioner contended that the concept of "human disinfection" through walk in tunnel is flawed and misconceived and be not permitted at any cost in light of Right to Health under Article 21 of the Constitution. The Centre submitted before the court that it had issued an advisory that use of disinfectant on human body is not recommended.

"We are of the view that for spraying disinfectant on human body, fumigation or use of UV rays against the human body, there has to be regulatory regime when respondent No.1 itself is of the view that such use is not recommended. The respondent No.1 has wide powers and responsibilities under Act, 2005, which could have been utilized to remedy the situation. In event, use of disinfectant on human body is to cause adverse effect on the health of the people, there has to be immediate remedial action and respondent No.1 cannot stop only by saying that such use is not recommended.", the bench observed.

The Court observed that the provisions of the Disaster Management Act confer certain more responsibilities and duties on the Centre apart from issuance of guidelines and providing 31 financial support. It said:

"The Pandemic being a disaster within the meaning of Act, 2005, has to be dealt with sternly and effectively. We have no doubt that the Union and the States are taking all measures to contain the pandemic and all mitigating steps but the facts which have been brought on record in this writ petition indicate that in the present case, something more was required to be done by respondent No.1 apart from issuing advisory that use of disinfectant on human body is not recommended. When public authorities/ organizations were using disinfectants both chemical/organic on the human body and there are various studies to the effect that it may be harmful to the health and the body. Some more actions were required to remove the cloud of uncertainty and to regulate the use even if it was to either prevent such use or regulate the use so that health of citizens is amply protected."

The court, therefore issued, the following directions

i) The respondent No.1 may consider and issue necessary directions in exercise of powers vested in it under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, regarding ban/Regulation on the usage of disinfection tunnels involving spraying or fumigation of chemical/organic disinfectants for the human beings. or
ii) There shall be similar consideration and directions by the respondents as indicated above with regard to exposure of human being to artificial ultraviolet rays.
iii) Looking to the health concern of the people in general, the aforesaid exercise be completed by respondent No.1 within a period of one month.
Case: GURUSIMRAN SINGH NARULA vs. UNION OF INDIA [WRIT PETITION (C) NO.560 OF 2020]
Coram: Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah

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