On Friday, the Supreme Court lashed out at state governments and hospitals for the way the dead bodies of Covid are dealt with and said that in some cases the situation was worse than what the animals have to suffer.
The bench that included Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice MR Shah took Suo Motu ‘s awareness of the treatment given to patients and the handling of bodies. The Court issued notices to the Delhi Government, West Bengal State, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra & sought detailed status report from the respective state governments and listed the matter on June 17 for next hearing. The bench, while slamming the Delhi government on deplorable conditions of people in hospitals, said people are being treated worse than animals while the dead bodies are found in garbage.
Former Union Law Minister and Senior Advocate Dr. Ashwani Kumar recently wrote a letter to Chief Justice SA Bobde highlighting the serious infringement of the right of citizens to die with dignity in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. In his letter, Dr. Ashwani Kumar urged CJI to notify Suo Motu of various reported incidents involving ill-treatment of COVID-19 patients and manipulation of their dead bodies. A tragic incident in Madhya Pradesh where an elderly man with COVID-19 was tied to a bed after he allegedly failed to pay fees for his treatment was referred to.
Likewise, Dr. Kumar found out in the Union Territory of Puducherry that government employees can be seen tossing a COVID-19 positive man’s body into a trap. The Center issued detailed guidelines for the handling of COVID dead bodies as early as 15 March the first COVID death in India. The court was especially upset at the “deplorable” condition of hospitals handling Covid-19 patients, making clear note of photos from LNJP Hospital in Delhi.
“There are bodies in the ward where people receive care. The undignified manner of dealing with, dumping bodies. They are getting poorer treatment than animals. And why does Delhi score so low? Mumbai and Chennai rate 16,000 to 17,000 while in Delhi they dropped below 7,000. That topic has been highlighted by media.”