The Delhi supreme court has declined to interfere with the Centre and Air India’s decision to work chartered flights to repatriate foreign nationals to their respective countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A bench of justices JR Midha and Jyoti Singh was of the view that the Center and the national carrier have taken measures like issuing protection kits to the pilots and crew of the flights to guard them against the novel corona virus.
The court also noted that the govt has issued guidelines concerning screening and testing of the pilots and cabin crew once they return to India and therefore the measures to be taken during their home quarantine.
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented pandemic and calamity of enormous magnitude and therefore the government is taking all necessary steps to make sure protection of its airline crew, as assured by the additional solicitor general, and would still do so…,” the bench said.
It also took note of the work being done by the airline crew and said they ought to be applauded for serving humanity at this hour of crisis.
The observations by the bench came while dismissing a plea challenging the govt and Air India’s decision to work chartered flights to repatriate foreign nationals. The court, however, said petitioner Vaibhav Sharma is liberal to give his suggestions to the government.
The petitioner, in his plea, wanted the government to lodge the crew of such flights in hotels, rather than home-quarantining them.
The bench said it agrees with the government that at this stage, it’s impossible to lodge the airline crew in hotels thanks to logistic issues which home quarantine is the best possible measure currently.
The petition, filed through advocate H S Nanda, had also claimed that the pilots and cabin crew of those chartered flights weren’t being given personal protection equipment.