• Author Name: Anshul Gupta
  • Details:  Advocate, Supreme Court of India, LL.M.(Catholic University Lyon, France); Master 2( State University Lumiere Lyon, France) E-mail: angpartners@gmail.com

The Government of NCT Delhi on 24.03.2020 released an order directing strict penal action against landlords forcing doctors, paramedics & healthcare personnel to vacate their rented residences amid the Coronavirus pandemic. 

According to the order issued by Health & Family Welfare Department, several complaints from doctors and healthcare personnel across Delhi alleging harassment vis-à-vis eviction from their temporary residences warranted this strict action. 

Further to this, the Delhi Government stated that, "such behavior amounts to obstructing a public servant in discharging their duties." 

It has also been directed that, 

".... all the District Magistrates/Zonal Deputy Commissioners of Municipal Corporations/District Deputy Commissioners of Police are directed to take strict penal action against such landlords/house- owners under the relevant provisions of law and submit an Action Taken Report on a daily basis to the office of Addi. Chief Secretary (Home), Govt. of Delhi." 

In the last few days, several grievances by doctors also sprung up on various platforms. In light of this, the Resident Doctors' Association, AIIMS, Delhi wrote a letter to the Union Home Minister highlighting their concerns. 

The letter inter alia stated, 

"Many doctors are now stranded on the roads with all their luggage and nowhere to go, across the country. We condemn such an attitude and hereby, request you to release an order, as soon as possible, prohibiting the landlords/owners from evicting the tirelessly working Doctors and other Healthcare Professionals from their rented houses. This would ensure our selfless services to our country in crucial time of COVID-19 pandemic" 

Following the letter, Home Minister Amit Shah spoke to the Delhi police chief and asked him to take immediate action to ensure the security of doctors facing harassment. 

Union Health Minister, Dr. Harsh Vardhan also expressed his "anguish" regarding healthcare personnel facing harassment and reminded people of the clapping done for them at 5 PM on March 22, 2020.