SC seeks Centre’s reply on PIL for ban on disinfectant tunnels

The Supreme Court has directed the Centre to respond to a plea that sought immediate ban on the production, advertisement, installation, and use of disinfection tunnels which spray chemical disinfectants to contain the spread of Covid-19.

A bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy, and MR Shah issued notice on the PIL filed by law student Gursimran Singh Narula.

The top court asked the petitioner’s counsel to serve the petition’s copy in the Solicitor General’s office, who may obtain instructions accordingly. The top court has listed the matter for further hearing after two weeks.

The petitioner argued that in the guise of preventing COVID-19, many sanitisation and disinfection devices have come in the market that wrongfully claim to be effective in preventing the virus spread.

“These include disinfection tunnels for spraying and fumigation of disinfectants, exposing human beings to ultraviolet rays. The World Health Organisation and many other scientific authorities across the world have warned about their ineffectiveness and dangerous after-effects,” the plea said.

The petitioner submitted that the WHO and health experts across the world were alarmed that the unchecked and misinformed use of such tunnels could have serious physical and psychological consequences on human beings.

The petitioner cited a statement by Pune-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-National Chemical Laboratory (CSIR-NCL) and Mumbai-based Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) on April 24, asserting that the effectiveness of disinfectants’ spray on human beings expressly cast doubts on the scientific value of an advisory issued by health authorities.

“As of today, many studies have revealed that spraying of disinfectants on human beings is becoming a common practice across the country with faulty notions of no health impact of the disinfectants,” the plea added.

The petitioner claimed that this had led to violation of the right to healthy life under Article 21 of the Constitution.