Delhi HC Directs Govt. to Consider the Harmful Effects of Spraying Disinfectants on Humans

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On June 10, 2020, the High Court of Delhi heard a plea on the violation of guidance by the WHO & Union of India to deal with COVID-19. The plea highlighted the concern of using disinfectants that cost public health.

Facts of the Case 

The case in hand is Susheel Mahajan vs NCT of Delhi. The Delhi High Court questioned the Delhi Government on its use of disinfectants. It challenged the harmful effects of spraying disinfectants/chemicals on humans. These disinfectants are sprayed to combat COVID-19. 

Petitioner’s Submission

Advocates Dr N Pradeep Sharma and Harsh K Sharma represented the petitioner. The Petitioner stated that as per the WHO guidelines, 70% of alcohol could only be used to wipe down surfaces. Additionally, he stated that it does not recommend spraying or fumigation of outdoor spaces.

Disinfectants are chemicals that destroy disease-causing pathogens and other harmful microorganisms.  However, the WHO does not recommend spraying these on individuals or groups under any circumstances.

“Spraying an individual or group with chemical disinfectants is physically and psychologically harmful. Spraying of chlorine on individuals can lead to irritation of eyes and skin. They may cause gastrointestinal ailments such as nausea and vomiting. Inhaling sodium hypochlorite leads to irritation of mucous membranes to the respiratory tract. It may also cause bronchospasm”, the Petition reads.

The Petitioner claimed that many private organizations started spraying chemicals on humans so as to disinfect them. Accordingly, this was carried out by installing chambers and tunnels. However, this practice amounts to the violation of Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

The petition seeks directions from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. In addition to this, it also seeks initiation from the Delhi Government and Commissioner of Delhi Police. Spraying chemicals for sanitization of public places raises concerns about public health. In light of this, The petitioner seeks for proper directions on an urgent basis. 

Court’s Observation

The bench consists of Chief Justice DN Patel and Prateek Jalan. The Court, after hearing the petition, directed the Govt. of Delhi to take the matter seriously. Coupled with this, it directed the Government to frame guidance, keeping in mind the safety of the public at large.


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