Saturday, December 9, 2023

Delhi High Court grants time to Centre, child rights bodies in plea of minor girls whose father died due to oxygen shortage in Covid second wave; they have sought compensation

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted time more time to the Union of India, Delhi Commission for Child Rights, The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi to file their respective counter-affidavits.

A single-judge bench of Justice Rekha Palli was hearing a plea of minor sibling girls who have lost their father due to Covid-19, seeking a direction to Government of NCT of Delhi, Union of India, Delhi Commission for Child Rights, The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and Lt. Governor of Delhi to announce and implement rehabilitation and compensation schemes which have been proposed for victims of Covid-19 and families of victims of Covid-19, furthermore directing the above mentioned respondents to ensure that there is no kind of prejudice to the right of education of the petitioner’s at Golden Jubilee Air Force Institute on account of non-payment of fees.

The petition stated that petitioner No.1 is minor student of Class VII, petitioner No 2 is a minor student of Class II. It is further stated that both the petitioners are siblings and are represented by their mother, Shalu Kataria.

The petition said the father of the petitioner, Dinesh Kataria, was admitted to Jaipur Golden Hospital, as he was tested positive for Covid-19 and was experiencing oxygen deficiency, upon admission he was put on oxygen support and it was assured by the hospital that they are equipped with all necessary medical equipment.

The petition said on April 24, 2021, Kataria expired, due to lack of oxygen support, furthermore Dr. D.K Baluja, Medical Director, Jaipur Golden Hospital went on record and stated that, as many as 20 patients died on Friday due to lack of oxygen support. The next day grandmother of the petitioners also lost her life due to Covid-19, leaving the petitioner and their mother in a state of shock and despair.

The petition further claims that Government of India and the Government of NCT of Delhi before various media and in proceeding before Supreme Court of India and High Court of Delhi have admitted that inadequate supply of oxygen to Hospitals in Delhi lead to unnecessary deaths of patients.

The petition states that father of the petitioners, late Dinesh Kataria, was the sole earning member of the family. Kataria was working in a private company taking care of all expenses of the petitioner including their education. The death benefits provided by the employer are not enough to sustain the petitioners and their mother, also there is a pending loan on the property, installments of which have to be paid.

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The petition submits that Union of India, Government of NCT of Delhi, Delhi Commission for Child Rights and The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights have floated various schemes to grant compensation to the families who lost their Sole Earning member or for benefit of childrenwho lost their parents due to Covid-19.

The Court on previous date of hearing had granted time to counsel representing Government of NCT of Delhi and Lt. Governor of Delhi to seek instruction for speedy disposal of the case.

The petition has been filed by Advocate Bharat Malhotra. The next date of hearing is October 6.

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