Gauhati High Court dismisses PIL seeking to provide ‘proper’ PPE kits to frontline staff

hospital covid 19 law insider

Deepali Kalia-

A Public Interest Litigation (PIL), which had sought that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits with ‘air-purifying respirators, should be provided to the frontline workers such as doctors, healthcare staff, paramedical staff, was dismissed by a Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Mr Sudhanshu Dhulia and Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak of Gauhati High Court.

The Bench had also imposed a cost of Rs50,000 on the petitioner noting that the PIL was not genuine. It was indirectly asking the Court to order the State government to purchase PPE kits of a specific company, BHT Technologies LLP.

The petitioner contended that the “PPE Kit which is provided to the doctors and paramedics are non-porous, and it does not allow air to pass in and out and it causes much discomfort to the doctors while examining the patients.”

However, stating that the request made by the petitioner to offer a cheque of Rs 1,18,000 to the government, so that the government could purchase such PPE kits was a very strange one. As the petitioner was neither a doctor nor a paramedic, the Court dismissed the plea.

Court Observation

The Court was observed stating that “A genuine and bonafide PIL must be encouraged by all Courts, but at the same time, a frivolous PIL which is being filed for extraneous reasons must be discouraged as laid down by the Hon’ble Apex Court in its seminal judgment, i.e., the State of Uttaranchal vs. Balwant Singh Chaufal &Ors (2010) 3 SCC 40.”

“The prayer for a direction from this Court for purchase of a particular kind of PPE kit is a matter which cannot be considered by a Court in a PIL. As if this was not enough, the petitioner has also offered a cheque of Rs.1,18,000/- to the Government through this Court to purchase these “special PPE kits”, the Court added.

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