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Delhi High Court adjourns plea seeking directions to JNU to set up Covid facility in campus

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The Delhi High Court has adjourned a plea seeking directions to Jawaharlal Nehru University, including a direction for setting up Covid care facilities, a Covid-19 response team and certain oxygen facilities inside the university campus.

A Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli adjourned the matter as Siddharth Dwivedi for Delhi Government sought time to obtain instructions regarding assigning doctors and equipment to Sabarmati Hostel, the proposed building for the Covid Care Centre.

The petition stated that upon outbreak of second wave of Covid-19 in second week of April, the petitioners had written two letters to the Registrar of JNU, informing him about the alarming situation in the campus and suggesting various steps to be taken in order to mitigate the situation, but the Registrar failed to respond. As there was no contact with the Registrar, the petitioners wrote a letter to the Vice-Chancellor of JNU, but again to no avail.

Thereafter, in the light of a number of residents of JNU campus testing positive for Covid-19 virus and inaction on the part of JNU, the petitioners wrote a letter to the Additional District Magistrate, New Delhi, Karthikeyan, requesting a Covid Management Facility be set up inside the JNU campus. The ADM wrote back and provided “Guidelines for Gated Residential Complexes Desirous of Setting up small COVID Care Facility by Resident Welfare Associations/Residential Societies/Non-Governmental Organisation (NGOs)” issued by the Directorate General of Health Services, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, furthermore, informing the petitioners that the Sub-Divisional Magistrate would visit the University campus in order to inspect if the University infrastructure is adequate for conducting a Covid-19 facility.

The Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Ankur Meshram, upon the request of the petitioners inspected the building proposed to be Covid Care Centre and stated that the said building is adequate. The SDM informed the petitioners the said building can be approved to be a Covid Care Centre subject to JNU sharing the responsibility of maintaining such a facility.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on February 13.

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