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Plea In Delhi HC Seeks To Classify Masks, Sanitizers As Essential Commodities

Union Health Ministry had on June 4, 2020, issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in offices whereby inter-alia the use of masks and sanitizers in offices was made mandatory

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A public interest litigation (PIL) was on Friday moved in the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the centre to classify masks and sanitizers as essential commodities, regulate their prices and reduce the GST on alcohol-based sanitizers.

The PIL, filed by social activist Gaurav Yadav and advocate Aarti Singh, challenged an order of central government "excluding mask and sanitizer from essential commodities", and levy of 18 per cent GST on alcohol-based sanitizers.

The plea is likely to come up for hearing before the Delhi High Court on August 11.

The petitioners submitted that the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs in not extending the notification dated March 12, whereby the masks and sanitizers were classified as "essential commodity" under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

The plea said that in a normal situation, the companies, offices, workplaces, etc have started opening up for work and therefore, the workers, employees, and labourers have to step out of their house for work and have to follow the safety rules including wearing masks, and using hand sanitizers in factories, workplaces and offices.

Union Health Ministry had on June 4, 2020, issued a standard operating procedure (SOP) on preventive measures to contain spread of COVID-19 in offices whereby inter-alia the use of masks and sanitizers in offices was made mandatory, it said.

It said that in the light of recent outbreak of the COVID-19, advisories from healthcare professionals and institutions around the world were issued to citizens at large to continually disinfect their hands with sanitizers and soaps and cover their face with mask as a measure to stop the spread of the said disease. 

(ANI)

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delhi high court pil classify masks Essential Commodities

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