Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Alcohol test on airport staff to ensure safety: Kerala HC

Kochi: The Kerala High Court has upheld the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) order to conduct breathalyser test on the personnel engaged in aircraft maintenance, air traffic control services, aerodrome operations and ground-handling services for detecting consumption of alcohol. Justice N Nagaresh observed that the DGCA issued the order with an intention to ensure public safety. 

Forcing the petitioners to undergo breathalyser tests in times of Covid-19 may affect their right to life enshrined in Article 21 of the Constitution of India. However, the right to life guaranteed by the Constitution is subject to restrictions in accordance with the procedure established by law. 

“We are governed by a Constitution upholding democracy. Democracy is a method of finding proximate solutions for insoluble problems. The orders issued by the DGCA effectively address the concern of the petitioners as to the apprehended violation of their right to life likely to be caused by the use of the apparatus, at the same time, ensuring public safety,” observed the court.

The court issued the order while dismissing the petition filed by Santhosh Kumar S, assistant general manager (ATM), Airports Authority of India, Trivandrum International Airport, and others against the breathalyser tests on airport staff at the Kozhikode, Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram international airports.

27/10/20 New Indian Express

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