Review guidelines on face masks on flights, says Delhi HC to DGCA

The Delhi High Court on Monday said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) should review its guidelines for face masks on flights in compliance with the Centre's instructions

airports

The court was dealing with a suo motu plea pertaining to violations of social distancing norms and Covid protocols by passengers at airports.

IANS New Delhi
The Delhi High Court on Monday said the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) should review its guidelines for face masks on flights in compliance with the Centre's instructions according to the Covid situation, saying it is not the court's job to issue directions on the subject to the aviation watchdog.
"We are not experts on the subject. The government of India and ICMR is... The DGCA will look into this and pass appropriate orders," a division bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad said.
The court was dealing with a suo motu plea pertaining to violations of social distancing norms and Covid protocols by passengers at airports.
Last month, the court had stressed for strict implementation of Covid-19 guidelines at airports, asking the DGCA to take severe action including placing passengers on a 'no-fly list' for not wearing masks and violating hygiene norms.
"DGCA should issue separate binding guidelines authorising staff at airports, flights, captains, pilots, etc. to take strict action against passengers and others violating masking and hand-hygiene norms. Such persons should be booked and fined and placed in no-fly list," the bench stated in the last hearing.
In the course of the hearing, it also said that the rules must be enforced.
"Violators should be removed physically, if need be," it said.
It also directed pilots to take strict action against those violating masking and hand hygiene norms inside the aircraft.
Noting that the mask is already a norm in flights, the bench said that it is meant to reduce Covid threat, pointing that one can take it off while eating or drinking.
Appearing on behalf of the DGCA, advocate Anjana Gosain apprised that the relaxation to remove the mask has been provided only during meals.
Counsel further said that none of the Covid guidelines were diluted and appropriate directions were issued in compliance with an earlier order.
The suo motu complaint was based on the personal experience of Justice C. Harishankar, who was travelling on a Kolkata-New Delhi flight last year, when he noted his fellow passengers refused to wear masks and violated Covid appropriate behaviour even after repeated requests.
--IANS
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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jul 19 2022 | 11:35 AM IST

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