Opening malls cannot be compared to outdoor sporting activities: Delhi High Court

The bench said there was no reason to proceed with the petition as the DDMA was due to hold a meeting on February 4

New Delhi:

The restricted opening of shopping malls and cinemas cannot be compared to outdoor sporting activities as the former provided jobs for people associated with this industry, Delhi High Court observed on Thursday denying the sporting activity of outdoors amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Justice V Kameswar Rao closed the petition after noting that the DDMA review meeting is scheduled for Friday. He said the DDMA should be allowed to do its job.

The bench observed that there was no reason to proceed with the petition as the DDMA was due to hold its meeting on February 4 to provide an update on the pandemic situation.

The Court was dealing with a petition against the ban on outdoor sports activities amid the third wave of COVID-19. He said the DDMA is looking into the matter and a direction to allow these activities cannot be at the request of the petitioner who wants to gamble.

Claimant lawyer Atul Singh argued that there was no reason why non-contact outdoor sports activities should not be allowed while movie theatres, shopping malls, restaurants, yoga, etc were allowed to operate at 50% capacity.

He also argued that there was a drop in the number of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate was down and the ban on outdoor sports activities was affecting sports people.

The bench said: ”The petitioner wants to play. The comparison sought with shopping malls, etc. must be seen from a different angle. They are a source of employment. The petitioner wants to play tennis. you won’t see it that way. They give food and employment to those who are attached to them.

Delhi government lawyer Satyakam argued that the issue of permitting outdoor sporting activities should be left to the DDMA, which was due to meet on February 4.

The court closing the petition said: ”The petitioner would be within his rights to air his grievances in the future. Let the authority do its job. Come back after the DDMA examines it.”

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