Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Delhi HC refuses to entertain plea by ATCs concerning breath analyser tests

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a petition by Air Traffic Controller (ATC) Guild India against the conduct of random breath analyser (BA) tests on five per cent of the controllers on duty at the airports amid the ongoing covid pandemic. Justice V Kameswar Rao, who said that he was not inclined to interfere with the procedure, noted that not more than six persons are to be tested in an hour, and even in big airports, five per cent of ATCs comes down to only three to four persons.

"Everyone must be tested... (It takes) one minute for the test. In six minutes (out of an hour) everyone is through. I am not inclined," the judge said.

Advocate Anjana Gosain, appearing for the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), submitted that BA tests were being conducted in accordance with the earlier directions passed by the court and after each test, the area is thoroughly sanitised.

The judge closed the petition and clarified that the authorities shall continue to scrupulously follow the directions passed by the court earlier and any infraction will be taken seriously.

Lawyer Piyush Sanghi, appearing for the petitioner Association, contended that as per the earlier order passed the court, only two per cent of the ATCs can be allowed to take the BA test at random, and thus the aviation authority cannot increase the number to five per cent at a time when there is a surge in COVID-19 cases.

19/01/22 PTI/Economic Times

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