Delhi High Court rejects plea challenging 100 percent seating in Delhi Metro

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday rejected a petition challenging the authorities to permit 100 percent seating in Delhi Metro and buses working in the national capital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said there would be no end to such petitions, if every user of public transport or and citizen is allowed to raise such issues and challenge the government decision.

The bench also added it is a policy decision taken by the competent authorities after examining the situation and the court cannot interfere with it.

The court said there was no merit in the petition challenging a July 24 order of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA).

It dismissed the plea filed by petitione S B Tripathi, who claimed the government’s decision dishonoured his fundamental right to life since such high seating capacity in Delhi Metro and buses would expose him to dangers of contracting COVID-19.

The petitioner said DDMA’s same order permits bars and restaurants to function with 50 per cent seating capacity and the decision to allow 100 seating capacity in public transport is irrational.

On this, the bench said the rationale behind 50 per cent seating capacity in bars and restaurants is that persons who go there are permitted to consume eatables, which is not the case in Delhi metro and buses where passengers have to keep their masks on the whole time.

“It is for the competent authorities charged with the responsibility of administration to take an informed call on matters regarding regulation of public transport and opening and running of markets, restaurants, bars and cinema halls,” the bench said.