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Reason for Keeping a Person in Quarantine for 14 Days to be Justified: Delhi HC to State Govt

By Ishita Joshi      15 May, 2020 02:40 PM      0 Comments
Reason for Keeping a Person in Quarantine to be Justified

Delhi High Court on Monday, 11th May 2020, held that the State Government will have to justify the reason for keeping a person in quarantine as a preventive measure for coronavirus. This was held after observing that the 14-day quarantine period is not mandatory but serves a general guideline. 

A single bench of Justice C Hari Shankar stated that there is no certain information regarding the malignancy of the COVID-19 virus, its actual period of gestation, the period taken for symptoms in an infected person to manifest itself, or the period for which a person, once infected, remains a potential source of infection to others. It remarked that the medical community world over is yet to come to grips with this virus and isolate its individual characteristics.

Delhi High Court was hearing a plea by photojournalist Amit Bhargava, who sought to formulate the rules of quarantine for the people while indicating whether the period of quarantine starts from the day of contact from an infected person or from the day of getting diagnosed for coronavirus. 

Justice Hari Shankar said that “unwilling to hold that in each and in every case, the period of home quarantine must stand limited to 14 days, and no more” and also mentioned about the legal consequences of illegal quarantine of a person. The court order also mentioned the responsibility of Delhi Government to show- cause notice to any person who is found to have breached the quarantine norms or lockdown orders while further stating that a warning should also be issued to that person to desist him from doing so in future. 

Article 32 of the Constitution of India provides for the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to entertain petitions regarding the infringement of the Fundamental Rights of a person. The said article provides five writs namely, Habeas Corpus, Mandamus, Prohibition, Certiorari, and Quo Warranto, which can be exercised by a person. Habeas Corpus means ‘you may have the body’. This writ is exercised against the illegal detention of a person by authorities. Through this, the person requests the court to determine whether the detention of the person is lawful or not. 

Article 226 of the Constitution of India provides this power to High Courts. High Courts have jurisdiction to entertain pleas regarding infringement of Fundamental Rights as well as Constitutional Rights. 

Lockdown 3.0 was put in force by Prime Minister Narendra Modi from 4th, May 2020 till 17th May 2020, and information about Lockdown 4.0 starting from 17th May 2020 is yet to be released. 

Total cases of Coronavirus positive patients have reached 81,970 in India. 27,920 patients have successfully recovered for the deadly virus however, 2649 lost their lives. 

Total positive coronavirus cases in Delhi have reached 7998. A total of 2858 patients have recovered whereas, 106 have succumbed to it.

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