The Supreme Court has sought response from the Centre on a PIL seeking an immediate ban on use, installation, production and advertisement of disinfectant tunnels set up to curb the spread of coronavirus.
A three-judge bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice M R Shah issued notices to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Ministry of Science and Technology and Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare while seeking their replies.
“Issue notice to respondent Nos.1 to 3. Counsel for the petitioner may serve a copy of the petition in the office of the Solicitor General, who may obtain instructions. List the matter after two weeks,” the bench said.
The top court was hearing a PIL filed by law student Gursimran Singh Narula seeking ban on usage, installation, production, advertisement of disinfection tunnels involving spraying or fumigation of organic disinfectants for the purposes disinfecting human beings.
“However, in the guise of preventing COVID-19 many sanitisation and disinfection devices have emerged which wrongfully claim to be effective in preventing the spread of this virus.
“These include disinfection tunnels involving spraying and fumigation of disinfectants and disinfection tunnels exposing human beings to ultra violet rays with a belief of disinfecting them,” the plea submitted.
According to the plea, the World Health Organization (WHO) and many other scientific authorities across the world have warned about their ineffectiveness and dangerous after effects.
The petitioner sought ban on usage, installation, advertisement, production, and sale of such disinfection tunnels which seeks to spray or fumigate disinfectants on human beings or expose human beings to ultra violet rays with a belief to disinfect them.
It is submitted before this court that WHO and other health experts across the world have raised alarm that unchecked and mis-informed usage of such disinfection tunnels can have serious physical and psychological consequences on human beings.
“The petitioner has approached the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare twice regarding this issue seeking binding guidelines and regulation of these tunnels.
“Consequently, on April 18, 2020 an advisory was issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare which also fell short in checking the unscrupulous use of these tunnels on human beings,” the plea submitted.