SC says treatment meted out to COVID-19 patients in Delhi horrific, horrendous; Asks Delhi, Maharashtra, TN, WB to apprise it by June 17 about the pandemic related situation
The Supreme Court of India on Friday, June 12 expressed annoyance over the handling of the COVID19 pandemic in Delhi as “horrendous” and issued notices to the Centre, the Governments of Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal asking them to explain the lapses in treating patients and offering a dignified departure to the dead. The situation created due to the pandemic in Delhi is horrendous, horrific and pathetic, the bench said during the hearing. The state of affairs in Delhi hospitals with bodies of the dead being stacked next to COVID-19 patients, and sought responses from the Centre and different states on its plea taking suo moto cognisance on the treatment being meted out to patients and the handling of the bodies. Hospitals are not giving due care to keep bodies and not even informing family members about deaths, as a result, they are unable to attend the last rites, the top court said. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and M R Shah also issued notices to the Centre, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu. On said that the guidelines of the central government are not being followed and directed the Chief Secretaries of the states to take stock of patient management system and submit a status report regarding hospital staff and patient care. The top court yesterday had taken suo moto cognizance of reports of improper handling of COVID-19 patients and undignified disposal of the victims’ bodies in the country. Chief Justice of India Bobde had taken note of the situation relating to the handling of COVID-19 patients and bodies of the victims and assigned the case to a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan. As Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the Delhi Government, said, “We accept notice”, the Bench shot back, “You have to do more than accepting the notice. “There are states where bodies were found in garbage bins. They are being treated worse than animals,” the Bench said. Asking the Centre and states to file their responses, it posted the matter for further hearing on June 17. Chief secretaries of Delhi, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are required to file status reports on the handling of the pandemic. The top court issued a separate notice to LNJP hospital in the national capital seeking its response.