The Delhi High Court, today, on 03rd June 2022 suggested the Directorate General of the Civil Aviation (DGCA) give power to the flight crew and airport staff to initiate strict action against passengers and other persons who are denying to follow the Covid-19 protocol on the airport premises or the flight.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta said that the Covid-19 pandemic is still not eradicated, and the cases are springing up at any time. Therefore, it is recommended to enforce mandatory regulations that should be followed everywhere, especially in enclosed spaces like aircraft.
The Bench recommended that the DGCA should issue fresh and separate regulations binding on all the airlines authorizing all the airport staff and the staff inside the aircraft to take strict action against anyone who is violating the said rules, whether he/she is a passenger or anyone else. The person with authority can be any employee of the airport authority or airlines – ground staff, crew members, pilots and others.
On the behalf of the DGCA, Adv. Anjana Gosain, on a video conference proceeding, informed the Court that the Ministry of Civil Aviation has already issued an order on 10th May 2022 to bring more strict enforcement of the Covid-19 protocol. The advocate assured the court that the Ministry has taken the situation into consideration and already working on it.
The Court observed that the guidelines and regulations are already there, only a more stringent practical implementation is necessary. To that, the Court has called for a report to be submitted by 18th July 2022.