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The Supreme Court on Wednesday has stayed the order of the Telangana High Court by which it had directed the State Government to conduct tests for Covid-19 on dead bodies before they are released from hospitals.

A three Judge bench comprising of Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MR Shah while staying the June 8 order of the High Court stated that the order was premature. The bench has issued notice in the matter and has listed the matter for further hearing after 2 weeks.

The High Court of Telangana had on June 8 after perusing the report of the Director of Public Health and Family Welfare observed that the state government’s report is absolutely silent on the issue whether the dead bodies being released from hospitals are duly tested for the presence of Coronavirus or not.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy had said “According to the Media Reports, the testing of the dead bodies is not being carried out.”

While the Advocate General informed the bench that the order of the High Court has been challenged in the Supreme Court, the bench said that Since, the directions had not been stayed by the Apex Court, the State Government is duty bound to carry out the directions.

The bench further warning the state of contempt notice said “it is, indeed. trite to state that if the directions issued by this Court are not implemented by the respondents, this Court eventually would have no other option, but to issue contempt notice to the respondents for their intentional, and willful disobedience of the orders passed by this Court. This statement is being made as a warning to the respondents, not to ignore the directions ofthis Court. For, neither the majesty of the law, nor the majesty ofthe High Court, can be ignored by the respondents.”

Subsequent to the High Court’s Order the State Government expressed its opinion that it is difficult to implement the High Court order to conduct COVID-19 tests on the dead before releasing them from the hospitals in the state.

-India Legal Bureau

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