A division bench of Justice AA Sayed and Justice MS Karnik of Bombay HC heard the PIL filed by 23-year-old Vaishnavi Gholave, a final year law student and 40-year-old Mahesh Gadekar, an agriculturist from Solapur. Justice Sayed questioned the petitioners regarding the right of privacy of such patients whose names are sought to be revealed-
“Authorities declare a particular place or a building as a containment zone after someone tests positive in order to make people aware so that they do not go there. Is that not enough?Why do you want to know the identity of persons who test positive for Covid-19? This involves their right to privacy.”
To this, Adv Vinod Sangvikar replied that the right to life takes precedence over the right to privacy.
Adv Sangvikar argued that ICMR’s guidelines extend to only those patients who died of Covid-19 not the active positive cases.
The PIL stated-
“It ought to be held, that the act of the Respondents at various levels violates the rights of public at large under Art 21 of the Constitution of India. If the names of the coronavirus infected patients are declared then it will be beneficial for the people at large to stay away from such people and go to a doctor at the initial stage of the disease. These infected people cannot remember the name, address and all other details of the people who had come in contact. The right of confidentiality is no more accepted if the question is of the welfare of the people at large.”
Also, the petitioners assert that according to the government, India has not reached the stage of community transfer, but we can reach that stage, if the Government fails to declare the name of the covid-19 patients.
Court issued notice to Centre and State seeking their reply to the said PIL and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks.
Read the order here: