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HC directs police to take action against officials for violating COVID-19 mask policy, helmet norms

The Delhi High Court has directed Delhi Police to hold their officials accountable for violating covid safety norms and traffic rules, and treat them as they would any other citizen.

HC directs police to take action against officials for violating COVID-19 mask policy, helmet norms
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The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the Delhi Police to take action against its erring officials found not following the COVID-19 norms of wearing masks and riding two-wheelers without helmets. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Sachin Datta said police officials should be leading by example by complying with the law and they are bound to follow Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) guidelines on COVID-19 as any other citizen.


“Police officers are equally bound by directions issued by DDMA, as any other citizen. We are of the view that they should lead by example,” the bench said. It directed the Delhi Police to take appropriate action against those officials who are found violating the norms of masks and also the Motor Vehicles Act by riding their vehicles without helmets and added that the action is taken within six weeks.

The court was hearing a plea by an advocate seeking direction to take necessary legal action against Delhi police officials for violating the COVID-19 guidelines on duty themselves and for not implementing COVID-19 guidelines in society even after many orders passed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and DDMA. Petitioner and advocate Shalen Bhardwaj has claimed that in the wee hours of August 9, 2021, two police personnel posted at Sadar Bazar Police Station were without masks and helmets during patrolling on a government bike and they allegedly misbehaved with him and his relative and used derogatory words. The petitioner filed an appeal before the division bench after his petition was disposed of by the single judge of the high court. In the appeal, he pointed out that about 30 police officials were found without masks but no action was taken against them for violation of DDMA directions.


The counsel representing the police admitted that several police officials who were found violating the law had been admonished and that an inquiry was conducted based on the petitioner’s complaint. He said it was found that several police officials were not wearing masks during duty at their workplace and helmets while driving two-wheelers. To this, the bench asked him, “Have you challaned them? You are challaning people, are these officers above the law? You have to lead by example. The single judge had earlier said the obligation to ensure compliance with COVID protocols must be adhered to even “more strictly” by those who are charged with its enforcement and must lead by example.

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