Delhi High Court asks DGCA to periodically review guidelines on wearing face masks on flights

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The Delhi High Court on Monday instructed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to periodically review its guidelines regarding the wearing of face masks in flights, while also adhering to guidelines issued by the Indian government on COVID protocols. -19.

A dividing bench made up of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad ruled on a request filed by Bridging The Gap Foundation through barrister Somnath Bharti seeking to be a defendant in a suo moto case registered by the High Court following the experience of Judge C. Hari Shankar during a domestic flight .

It was found that the standards are not implemented on the ground with the seriousness with which they are developed.

The request for indictment therefore asked the DGCA to inform the Court of the restrictions which should now be imposed on airlines to combat Covid-19 in the current scenario.

At first, the judiciary remarked orally that the COVID-19 situation is not that bad, with a very small number of reported cases.

However, the Chamber considered that it was not for the Court to give instructions to the DGCA on this aspect, as this fell within the domain of the government.

“We are not experts. The Indian government is expected on the subject. The Indian government will ensure compliance with the directives,” he added. noted the Chief Justice.

“The DGCA will inquire and if necessary, it will pass the appropriate decrees”, the bench said, adding that the authority will be free to review the situation.

During today’s hearing, counsel for the DGCA informed the Court that fines were issued to various passengers who breached the guidelines issued and that a report on the action taken was also filed at this regard.

“Bearing in mind the instructions issued by the Union of India from time to time… the DGCA will periodically review and adhere to the guidelines issued by the Government of India from time to time. The request is eliminated,” ordered the Bench.

Earlier, predecessor Bench last month suggested the DGCA authorize flight crew and airport staff to take strict action against passengers and other affected persons failing to comply with the Covid-19 protocol by flight or on the premises of the airport.

He had said that the Covid-19 pandemic had not subsided and kept popping up from time to time and therefore it was absolutely essential to apply and follow Covid-appropriate behavior, especially in spaces closed like planes.

Case Title: Court of Office v. DGCA & Ors.

Quote: 2022 LiveLaw (Deleted) 669

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