New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday gave the green signal for conducting breath analyser tests through the tube process for air traffic controllers (ATC), which was earlier suspended by it in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A single judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla modified the high court’s March 23 interim order, passed by another bench, by which it had suspended breath analyser tests (BAT) through the tube process for ATCs, saying the DGCA will be bound by the June 16 recommendations of the medical board.
The order was passed while allowed an application filed by the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) seeking modification of the earlier order and to implement the medical report of the Directorate General of Medical Services (DGMS).
As per the medical board’s recommendation one machine would be used per person and the same machine cannot be used again for the next 12 hours.
The court said the interest of ATCs and passengers has to be balanced and noted that BAT is being presently conducted on pilots in a restricted manner.
The application was filed in pending petition by the Air Traffic Controllers’ Guild (India), represented through Advocates Piyush Sanghi and Khushbu Sahu.
The plea sought the court’s direction to the DGCA and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to temporarily suspend the BAT through the current tube process to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.
On March 23, a single judge bench of the Delhi High Court presided by Justice Pratibha M. Singh also directed the Director General Medical Services (Air) to hold an emergency meeting to find an alternative method in place of this test.
The court was then hearing a plea by the Air Traffic Controllers’ Guild (India) seeking a direction to the DGCA and the AAI to temporarily suspend the BAT through the tube process.
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