Mumbai: In perhaps the first such case in Mumbai, a married couple residing in Agripada has been booked by the police after they allegedly ignored repeated warnings from their housing society and refused to stop their domestic help from entering and exiting the building each day.
The Agripada police registered a FIR against the couple under sections of the IPC, the Epidemic Diseases Act, and the Disaster Management Act, acting on a complaint lodged by the secretary of the housing society.
In the complaint, the society secretary claimed that even after repeated warnings, these members were not following preventive measures adopted to keep COVID-19 at bay, and thereby endangered the lives of other members amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic.
After the lockdown was announced in the state on March 22, Akash Apartment in Agripada decided that no outsiders, including house help, would be allowed inside the society, and a notice in this regard was issued to all members.
The notice also stipulated that domestic help working at members’ homes would not be allowed to go out and then return each day and would have to remain at their employer's house. According to the society's secretary, all the members were following the guidelines, except for one family.
Even after repeated warnings, the family's two domestic help continued to come and go, according to the secretary. On April 4, the society issued a notice to the couple. After they allegedly refused to accept the notice, the society's governing body pasted it outside their flat. However, this action did not deter the family, and their two-domestic help from allegedly continuing to come and go.
In its complaint, the society has claimed that it has no idea about where the domestic help come from, nor are they aware of their medical condition. Since COVID-19 is a contagious disease, these outsiders pose a risk of infecting the members, the complaint states.
"Following the complaint, the husband and wife were booked under the IPC section 270 for malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life, as well as under sections 3 and 4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act and section 51(b) of the Disaster Management act," said S Agawane, senior police inspector of Agripada police station.