Friday, December 4, 2020
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Explain your actions for dignified treatment of COVID patients, SC asks Centre

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked the central government to clarify what steps have been taken to follow the top court’s directions regarding the dignified handling of COVID patients as well as dead bodies in hospitals. The court had passed these directives on June 19.

A three-judge Bench comprising of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah issued the directions while hearing the suo motu petition taking cognisance of conditions in hospitals during covid (“In Re: Proper Treatment of COVID-19 Patients and Dignified Handling of Dead Bodies in the Hospitals, etc”).

The Court noted that an affidavit has been filed by the Union of India, which does not give the details of compliance of the directions, and only states that orders have been issued to comply the directions.

According to the Court, mere direction to comply the directions is not enough and the steps taken towards compliance of the directions have to be brought on the record.

During the hearing today, the Court noted that most States had failed to file a response to the directions which had been given by the Court vide their judgement dated 19th June. In the previous hearing of the suo motu petition the Court had given several directions and had also directed States who had not filed their Replies, to file appropriate compliance reports within a period of two weeks.

Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta on behalf of the Centre requested for some time to file a proper reply, in response to which two weeks’ time was granted by the Court.

The Supreme Court on June 11th, had taken suo moto cognizance of reports that alleged mishandling of dead bodies of COVID-19 patients and, ill-treatment of  other patient suffering from COVID-19.  After hearing and due consideration of all the reports, the Court on June 19 had issued multiple directions to both State and Centre regarding hospital management, testing, treatment of patients, etc. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare was also directed to form an Committee for inspection and issuance of further directions to the hospitals in NCT of Delhi.

Read the order here;


-India Legal Bureau

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