Delhi HC to Prioritize Cases Involving HIV Positive Individuals

HIV Positive

The Delhi High Court will prioritize and promptly address legal proceedings concerning an HIV positive individual, with strict adherence to maintaining anonymity and confidentiality.

These “practice directions” have been issued by the high court on its administrative side, in accordance with directives from the Supreme Court in a judgment dated September 26, 2023.

“In compliance with the directions issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the judgment dated September 26, 2023 in…, the Hon’ble Acting Chief Justice has issued the following directions for compliance by all concerned. In any legal proceeding involving or relating to an HIV-positive individual, the courts must prioritize and resolve the proceedings promptly in accordance with Section 34(2) of the HIV (Prevention and Control) ACT 2017,” stated the practice directions issued through Delhi High Court Registrar General Kanwaljeet Arora.

Furthermore, the courts must ensure strict maintenance of anonymity and confidentiality by substituting the name of the HIV-positive person with a pseudonym in the records of proceedings.

In its September 2023 judgment, the apex court directed all courts, quasi-judicial bodies, including tribunals, commissions, and forums, entrusted with judicial functions under central and state enactments, as well as those established under various central and state laws to resolve disputes, to actively comply with the provisions of Section 34 (identity suppression) of the HIV Act.

“The Chief Justices of all high courts shall compile and devise methods for collecting information regarding this matter, anonymizing the identities of affected persons appropriately, and also ensuring compliance with the provisions of Section 34(2) of the HIV Act. The Registrar General of the Supreme Court shall also address the issue and formulate relevant guidelines which, upon approval, shall be issued and implemented,” the top court stated.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte