Delhi High Court Allows the Petitioner to Avoid Working at COVID-19 Testing Centre Owing To Special Circumstances

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The petitioner seeks exemption from performing her duties at COVID-19 testing centers as her husband is unwell. Her husband is suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and also has a child in special care. Moreover, the writ petition was filed without being aware of the fact that exemption can be sought.

Brief facts of the case

The petitioner is a music teacher working in Atal Adarsh Vidyalaya School, New Delhi. She joined the school in the year 2000. She filed a petition challenging the order passed by the respondent. It asked her to report for training on 26 June 2020. The training was to enable her to perform duties in the new COVID-19 testing facility centers set up in New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) area.

Arguments before the Court

The learned counsel for the petitioner submits that the petitioner’s husband is suffering from COPD. He has asthma too and was hospitalized recently. The petitioner also has two minor children, one of whom is a special child. The petitioner prayed for exemption from performing COVID-19 duty owing to the above reasons.

On the contrary, the counsel appearing for the respondent submitted that the training can be swiftly conducted. The COVID-19 centers are taking several precautions.

Court’s ruling

Considering the facts and circumstances of the matter, i.e., the personal circumstances of the Petitioner who has to attend to a special child, the illness of her husband who has a respiratory disease and other comorbidities, the Petitioner is exempted from reporting to the Covid-19 center and from performing other such duties during the pandemic.

The Delhi High Court grants an exemption to the petitioner based on the exceptional facts of the case. Teachers are government employees and there is a requisition for their services. But, owing to any personal difficulties, they can move an application before the SDM. The petitioner filed the petition without knowing there is an exemption for her from duty based on special circumstances.


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