Delhi High Court Dismisses Frivolous Plea by a Charitable Trust

On 10.04.2020, the Government of NCT Delhi (GNCTD) issued an order which cordoned off the area of Chandni Mahal. For the reason of the significantly high number of COVID-19 cases from the region. A charitable trust then approached the Delhi High Court again initiating contempt of court proceedings against the respondents (GNCTD).

Background

The petitioner, a charitable trust alleged contempt of the court’s order dated 08.04.2020. It had earlier approached the Delhi High Court seeking passes to distribute essential commodities to the poor. However, the respondents ensured the Court that such passes will be distributed. Thus, on 08.04.2020, the HC dismissed the petition. The office of the petitioner trust is in Chandni Mahal.

Contentions

The petitioner submitted that due to the cordoning of the area, they are unable to reach its offices. As a result, the petitioner is unable to provide ration to the poor and the needy. This, according to the petitioner, constitutes contempt of the Court’s order dated 08.04.2020. The respondent submitted that the GNCTD order came in view of the rising number of cases in the Chandni Mahal. Further adding, about 102 positive COVID-19 cases have surfaced in the area. Thus, it is issued the order to check the spread of COVID-19 and adherence to it is imperative.

Verdict

Consequently, the Court found no substance in the contempt petition. It observed that there was no wilful disobedience on part of the respondents. The GNCTD issued the order with a view to check the spread of COVID-19. Adding, “It is not for the petitioner to treat itself as an “appropriate mechanism” for supply of essential commodities.” While dismissing the petition the Court observed that in times like these the Government must not be bothered with such frivolous litigation. For that reason, it directed the charitable trust to pay ₹10,000/- to the PM-CARES fund.