The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that there was no need to put up posters outside the homes of coronavirus patients, unless there were specific directions from the competent authority, Bar and Bench reported.

A bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan, RS Reddy and MR Shah heard a plea against the state governments affixing posters outside patients’ homes. The petitioner argued the practice led to stigmatisation and promoted “idle gossip” in a neighbourhood. The petitioner told the court that the posters also “widely publicised” a person’s illness in a residential area. They added that the practice was against the ethos of living with dignity.

The court disposed of the petition saying that the Centre had already clarified its stand on the matter. Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had told the court in an affidavit last month that if a poster humiliates or stigmatises a person, it should be avoided. “But if it warns a person from inadvertent entry [into the home] then it is up to the state government,” he had said, according to Live Law.

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Mehta added that the Centre had not prescribed the rule to state governments. He also said that the practice of pasting posters was aimed at protecting other people and not stigmatising the patients.

The Supreme Court, during a hearing on December 1, had noted that putting up posters may lead to patients being treated as “untouchables”.

India’s coronavirus count rose to 97,35,850 on Wednesday morning as it reported 32,080 new cases in 24 hours. The daily infections tally rose by nearly 21% in comparison to Tuesday. The country’s toll rose to 1,41,360 with 402 more deaths. More than 92.1 lakh people have recovered from the disease so far.