Madras HC | Disclosing identity of COVID-19 patients will lead to social stigma; Petition for disclosure rejected

Madras High Court: A Division Bench of M. Sathyanarayanan and Nirmal Kumar, JJ., addressed a petition wherein direction was sought with regard to revelation of the COVID-19 affected persons identity.

With the present petition, it was stated that, on account of the concealment of identity of persons, who developed infection, on account of COVID-19, there may be a possibility the said person may pass on the infection, to other persons and if they lack immune, it would definitely spread and there is every likelihood that they would spread the virus, to other persons.

Thus, in view of the above, direction were sought with regard to publishing of the names of the persons on the Government Website so that it may act as a warning for caution to the persons to keep away.

Bench on perusal of the submissions, stated that it would take judicial notice of the fact on account of the revealing of the identity of the person/persons, there would be definitely a social stigma.

People are slowly becoming aware of the effect of COVID-19 virus and if the prayer sought for by the petitioner is granted, it would further lead to law and order and public order problem, apart from the social stigma, some times may lead to excommunication also.

Hence, the petition in the above view is dismissed. [K. Narayanan v. Chief Secy., Govt. of T.N., 2020 SCC OnLine Mad 974 , decided on 21-04-2020]

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