HC declines plea against testing centre in residential locality

The High Court of Karnataka has declined to entertain a PIL petition against a private diagnostic centre, situated in a predominantly residential locality in the city, which has commenced collecting swab samples for COVID-19 tests.

“The counsel appearing for the petitioners is unable to point out any statutory provision which imposes embargo on setting up a laboratory in the residential locality to collect swab samples for testing COVID-19. In the absence of any such statutory provision, we cannot direct the State government to cancel the permission, if any, granted to the diagnostic centre,” the court observed.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice M. Nagaprasanna passed the order on the petition filed by S. Gangappa and another, residents of Manasanagar, near Nagarbhavi circle.

The petitioners had sought direction for cancellation of permission granted to Mediclu Diagnostics and Speciality Centre, Kendra Upadyayara Sangha Layout, near Nagarbhavi circle.

On the allegation of the petitioners that the laboratory is not taking precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as people are standing in queue for giving swab sample, the Bench said the petitioners can always approach the health and civic authorities on this grievance for taking appropriate steps.

“Merely because there is a queue of people outside the laboratory of the fourth respondent, we fail to understand how it poses a danger to the residents of the locality. There is no need to assume that all people standing in queue are infected,” the Bench observed.

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Sagar Biswas

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