Delhi High Court transfers plea against Covid test advisory to its division bench

The Delhi High Court today has listed a petition before the division bench seeking directions to the Centre to strike down advisory issued by the ICMR which says, “RT-PCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RT-PCR.”

The petition has been filed by a practising advocate in Delhi, who tested positive along with his parents but has mild symptoms and home quarantined for 17 days. He is not being allowed to step outside his home even after 17 days, by home guards deployed outside his home, unless he and his parents get tested negative for Covid-19.

The petitioner alleges when he went for Covid test with his parents to the nearest dispensary, he was refused the same. “Despite repeated requests by the petitioner that he may be tested for Covid as he needs to show it to civil defence guards so that he may be allowed to step out of his house for procuring basic sustenance items for himself and his aged parents and also to perform his duties as an essential service worker being a criminal lawyer himself, the dispensary staff denied for the same, which led the petitioner to dial 100 to register a complaint against the erring staff. However, no action was taken by the police against the dispensary staff,” said the petitioner.

The petition was listed today before Justice Rekha Palli and was transferred to the divisional bench. The plea stated that the advisory issued by Respondent No 2 (ICMR) though shown to be not binding, is being treated as a mandate and hence leading to denial of tests of individuals by testing labs.

The plea further contended that the recommendation of not repeating the RT-PCR test for any individual who has tested positive once is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 and Article 21 of the Constitution as it discriminates against individuals who have tested positive and leaves no room for them to confirm if they have turned negative and fully recovered.
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