Gauhati HC dismisses PIL by Lawyer to provide PPE Kits to Doctors and Paramedics: Imposes Rs. 50,000 Cost

Gauhati High Court - PIL- Lawyer - PPE Kits - Taxscan

A division bench of the Gauhati High Court has recently dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by a lawyer to provide PPE kits to the frontline covid warriers including doctors and paramedics. While dismissing the petition, the bench comprising Chief Justice Sudhansuand Justice Manash Ranjan Pathak imposed a fine of Rs. 50,000 on the petitioner.

The petitioner, Babita Sharma, is a practicing lawyer, approached the High Court pleading that in the present COVID19 pandemic, the frontline workers, particularly, the doctors and the paramedics are not being provided with a proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits. According to the petitioner, the PPE Kit which is presently being provided to doctors and paramedics is 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.

The division bench observed that the petitioner, being neither a doctor nor a paramedic has come up with a grievance that the present PPE kits are need to be changed.

“The petitioner is not a doctor or paramedic. Moreover, her claim does not rest on any verifiable data. 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, for the purchase of these “special” PPE kits. This is an absolutely strange prayer. She is indirectly asking the Court to order the State for purchasing PPE kits of a particular company, i.e. BHT Technologies LLP.”

Dismissing the petition, the bench further said that “we are afraid that this PIL must be dismissed in limine. In order to discourage filing of such PIL, we also impose a cost of Rs.50,000/- (Rupees Fifty Thousand) on the petitioner, which shall be deposited in the Registry within a period of one week, and be then transferred to the account of Advocate/Lawyers Fund.”

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