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Supreme Court asks states to file status, compliance reports in 2 days on proper treatment of COVID patients and dignified handling of dead bodies

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New Delhi (ILNS): The Supreme Court today resumed its hearing in the suo motu case for proper treatment of COVID 19 patients and dignified handling of dead bodies in hospitals.

The three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M. R. Shah heard the case and has asked the states to file their current status report as well as compliance report. The case has been slated for next hearing on Friday.

Justice Bhushan said that the status report has to be filed within 2 days

On the previous hearing on July 27 the court took note of the fact that despite its clear directions which were issued on June 19, none of the States/UTs had filed their compliance report.

The three-judge bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and M. R. Shaht had said: “An affidavit has been filed on behalf of the Union of India, which does not give the details of compliance of the directions except that orders have been issued to comply with the directions. Mere direction to comply with the directions is not enough. The steps taken towards compliance of the directions have to be brought on the record. The State Governments / UTs have not filed affidavits giving details of compliance of various directions issued by this court on June 19. We are of the view that the Chief Secretaries of the States have to take steps to ensure that directions issued by this court in order dated June 19, are complied with. An appropriate compliance report to be filed.”

The Court had given two weeks time to States and UTs to file their compliance report with regards to the eleven directions passed by it.

In its June 19, order the Supreme Court had passed slew of directions to the States/UTs with the object of continuous supervision and monitoring of government hospitals, COVID dedicated hospitals and other hospitals taking care of COVID management. The court had issued the following directions:

“With the object of continuous supervision and monitoring of government hospitals, COVID dedicated hospitals and other hospitals taking care of COVID management issue following directions Nos.(I) to (IV):

(I) The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Union of India, shall constitute Expert Committees consisting of:

a) Senior Doctors from Central Government hospitals in Delhi,

b) Doctors from GNCTD hospitals or other hospitals of Delhi Government,

c) Doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences,

d) Responsible officer from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

(II) The Expert Committee shall inspect, supervise and issue necessary directions to all Government hospitals, COVID hospitals and other hospitals in NCT of Delhi taking care of COVID patients; The Expert Committees shall ensure that at least one visit in each hospital be done weekly.

In the hearing today, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said: “It’s sad that we have to deal with the dead body. I’m saying this as a human being.”

Justice Bhushan says that is only a part of the matter.

Advocate Arkaj Kumar appearing for GNCT of Delhi submitted: “The expert committee as per the courts direction has been constituted.”

“We have a dedicated slot of 380 for COVID patients.”

Justice Bhushan stated: “We want the status report especially with regard to the present management of COVID cases.”

Having regard to the urgency of the matter, SG Mehta maintained: “May I suggest that the status report be filed by evening today and the matter be taken up tomorrow.”

Justice Shah today pulled up the counsel appearing for one of the states and said: “What type of policy decision are you taking. What is this?”

The bench has asked the states to file their present status report as well as the compliance report.

Since there has been a spike in the number of cases of COVID-19 in the month of November, especially in Delhi, Maharashtra and Gujarat, the states have been directed to file the present status report.

Read Also: Delhi High Court asks authorities to take a timely decision on leave for women during menstrual periods

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