New Delhi [India], May 27 (ANI): Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Central government to treat as a representation a PIL seeking installation of CCTV cameras in restaurant kitchens to check the cleanliness and hygiene precautions taken by the staff to contain the spread of coronavirus.
A bench of Justices DN Patel and Prateek Jalanand, while hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) through video conferencing, asked the respondent to consider the grievances of the petitioner regarding the cleanliness and hygiene precautions at restaurants.
The petition sought directions to make rules for all functioning restaurants, commercial kitchens, and other commercial establishments handling food in the national capital to capture and record activities of food makers through CCTV camera(s).
It said that this will enable the health inspectors to view, check, and scrutinise the adherence by employees and staff of those establishments to the government guidelines on precautions being taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The plea, filed by Trisha Mahajan through advocate Namita Roy, sought the installation of 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.
"It is the right of the public to know whether a restaurant is following all the government norms and guidelines of re-opening and so the petitioner is seeking installation of CCTV cameras in the kitchen and food preparation areas of restaurants so that a record is created for the authorities towards inspection of the same," the plea said.
"In some cases and where possible the live feed can also be made visible from outside and customers can make up their own mind as to the norms being followed and whether they want to dine in the restaurant or not, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. If the guidelines are not followed, there is a potential risk of mass-infection," it added.
The plea asked how can people protect themselves as the government eventually lifts the lockdown and rampant economic activity resumes.
"Recently, Delhi's food safety department had called in a raid at a famous Delhi restaurant after a Twitter video, showing its staff kneading the 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 after they re-open when the lockdown is lifted," it added. (ANI)