Coronavirus in Mumbai: Why did Bombay HC dismiss PIL seeking rigorous testing of COVID-19?

Observing that resources may be scare in these testing times to conduct door-to-door testings across Mumbai, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition seeking rigorous testing in the city just on the lines of Bhilwada, district of Rajasthan.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Amjad Sayed also said that there are no guidelines issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which mandates door-to-door testing for Coronavirus.

The bench was dealing with a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by activist Anil Galgali, who had urged the court to issue directions to the civic authorities as well as the Maharashtra government to carry out door-to-door testing of residents in Mumbai.

In his plea, Galgali, claimed that authorities here must follow the model that was adopted in test in the residents of Bhilwada district of Rajasthan, which has now been declared "corona free."

Having perused his plea, the judges noted the various loopholes in it.

"The PIL petition lacks particulars of the population in Bhilwada. It does not even refer to any feature in Bhilwada that

is identical or has close resemblance with Mumbai," Chief Justice Datta pointed out.

"Having regard to the testing times arising out of the pandemic, resources may be scarce for such door-to-door testing," CJ Datta observed.

The bench further said there are no instructions from the WHO or the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to conduct such tests.

"Even otherwise, no guidelines and/or advisory of the WHO or ICMR have been brought to our notice, which requires the authorities to mandatorily carry out door-to-door testing of the residents. In our considered opinion, the PIL Petition is misconceived and is liable to be dismissed," CJ Datta said.

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