Roy & Acharya LLP

Delhi HC asks Centre to treat PIL for CCTV cameras in restaurant kitchens as representation

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Centre to treat as a representation a plea seeking installation of CCTV cameras in the kitchen and food preparation areas of restaurants to check on cleanliness and hygiene precautions taken by the staff to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan, which conducted the hearing through video conferencing, also said that while deciding the representation the concerned authorities shall keep in mind the suggestions made by the petitioner regarding installation of CCTVs in the restaurant kitchens.

The court was hearing a PIL seeking direction to the Centre to direct all restaurants in Delhi to install CCTV cameras in the kitchen and food preparation areas and to create a record of activities by employees and staff for enabling the health inspector to scrutinise it against compliance to government guidelines on preventive steps for prevention of COVID-19.

Petitioner Trisha Mahajan, represented through advocates Namita Roy and Abhijit Acharya, said with the help of CCTV cameras, even the customers will also be able to view whether proper cleanliness, hygiene and necessary precautions are being taken by the restaurant to avoid any potential infection or transmission of disease.

“All over the world lockdown restrictions are being removed gradually and India is likely to follow the same path.

On May 18, India has extended the nationwide lockdown for another two weeks after May 17 to contain the spread of coronavirus while continuing to ease restrictions, including reopening of restaurants, markets and shopping centers subject to certain conditions,” the plea said.

It added the major cause for concern is that once the government will lift the lockdown, and rampant economic activity resumes, how will public protect themselves.

“Recently, Delhi’s Food safety department had called in a raid at a famous Delhi restaurant after a Twitter video, showing its staff kneading dough with feet, went viral.

The restaurant denied the charges.

However the bigger question is how the customer will be sure that the restaurants are following the guidelines given by the government after they re-open when lockdown is lifted,” it said.

The plea said it is the right of the public to know whether a restaurant is following all the government norms and guidelines of re-opening and suggested that wherever possible, live feed be made visible from outside so that the customers can decide whether they want to dine in the restaurant, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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