Updated: August 18, 2021 9:29:07 am
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a petition challenging the decision to permit 100 per cent seating inside the Metro and intra-state buses, saying it was the responsibility of competent authorities to take an informed call on matters of regulation of public transport. The court also told the litigant that he should not travel by the Metro if he has any issues with Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s (DDMA) decision to allow it to operate with full seating capacity.
While dismissing the petition challenging the government decision, the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh told the petitioner that he should not come with such “useless causes” before the court.
“We are not here and you certainly are not here to make policies and dictate policies. Now they are permitting schools, cinemas have opened. The point is when you travel, you are supposed to have your mask on all the time,” the bench said.
While rejecting an argument comparing the order permitting only 50 per cent seating capacity in restaurants and the one allowing 100 per cent seating in the Metro, the court said, “Is the environment and utility of a restaurant the same as Metro? It does not work in restaurants because there you eat and drink and you cannot have the mask on.”
The petitioner had earlier argued before the court that he travels by the Metro and the decision by DDMA violates his fundamental right to life since such “high seating” in the Metro and the buses would expose him to dangers and risk of contracting Covid-19.
The court said it was for the competent authorities to take an informed call on matters of regulation of public transport and the opening and running of markets, restaurants and cinemas.
“If every user or citizen were to be permitted to raise said issues and challenge the decision of the government which does not appear to be unreasonable and uninformed, there would be no end to such petitions. Today, the petitioner is suggesting that the Delhi Metro, DTC and cluster buses should run at 50 percent capacity, tomorrow there may be another person who thinks that even that is more…This cannot be permitted,” the court added.
The bench also said that the authorities have consciously disallowed overcrowding in the Metro and buses by providing that no standing passengers would be permitted. “We therefore do not find any merit in the petitioner and dismiss the same,” it said.
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