Supreme Court dismisses Uttar Pradesh SLP seeking stay on Allahabad HC order on missing 82-year-old from hospital

The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea filed by the State of Uttar Pradesh seeking a stay on the Allahabad High Court order which had sought details from Additional Chief Secretary, Medical Health and Family Welfare of the SOP/Plan prepared by the State Government for all levels of Hospitals, i.e., District Hospitals, Community Health Centres and Primary Health Centres and status about the implementation of the SOP/Plan by Hospitals. 

The bench led by the Chief Justice N.V. Ramana and also comprising of Justices Surya Kant and Hima Kohli recorded the impugned order dated September 13 of Allahabad High Court whereby the Allahabad High Court has left the issue to be determined by the Trial Court. 

ASG Aishwarya Bhati representing the State of UP didn't press the SLP. Thereafter, the bench dismissed it. 

Allahabad HC order on missing 82-year-old Covid-19 patient

The Allahabad High Court passed several directions against the Government in a Habeas Corpus plea seeking the release of an 82-year-old man from the custody of T.B. Sapru Hospital in Prayagraj, where he was admitted for treatment of Covid-19 but purportedly went missing.

The High Court observed that prima facie, it appears that entire hospital as well as the police authorities were negligent and committed dereliction in their duties in the matter of tracing the corpus Ram Lal Yadav. From a perusal of the affidavit of Chief Medical Superintendent, T.B. Sapru Hospital, Prayagraj, it also appears that Doctors, as well as Staff of the Hospital, were well aware of the incident of missing of the corpus since the morning of 8.5.2021. They were so careless and irresponsible that they even have not taken any effective steps in the discharge of their duties. 

Also Read: Punjab and Haryana HC dismisses habeas corpus petition Rs 50,000 cost to be paid to ‘detenue’

High Court overlooked hospital ground realities: SLP

Arguing that the High Court has enlarged its jurisdiction and scope of writ, the SLP also states that the High Court completely overlooked the hospital's ground realities during the corona period when a large number of patients were being admitted. To further substantiate their contention, petitioners in the SLP have argued that in a pandemic situation, the disaster management being controlled by medical staff and police could not be penalized if any patient went missing in such a situation.

Reliance has been placed on the Top Court's judgement in State of Uttar Pradesh v Dr Manoj Kumar Sharma in which the Court had observed that, "High Court should not ordinarily direct the officers of the State to be personally present in the Court," to contend that the High Court on August 19, 2021 had directed personal presence of the Chief Medical Officer, Chief Medical Superintendent, District Magistrate and Superintendent of Police. 

“Officers waste their valuable time of duty if they have to attend the court and that affects the administrative work and in the present pandemic situation such presence causes serious hardships to the public at large,"

-the SLP stated.