RIGHT TO DECENT BURIAL UNDER ARTICLE 21.
DECENT MEDICAL FACILITY UNDER ARTICLE 21: RIGHT TO LIFE.
Yet, an 80 years old COVID-19 patient had been chained to a bed in a Madhya Pradesh hospital for not paying the required fee. This incident clearly shows the gross negligence on the part of the state in assuring the proper medical facility.
Moreover, Article 47 of the Indian constitution directs that "the state shall regard the raising of the level of nutrition and the standard of living of its people and the improvement of public health as among its primary duties".
Despite having a total of 9816 beds as on 14th June, 2020, there are still 4418 vacant beds. Yet, citizens have been complaining against the unavailability of beds for COVID19 treatment in the national capital. The case of Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity & Ors v. State of West Bengal & Anor (1996) 4 SCC 37 held that "a patient cannot be denied emergency aid due to the non-availability of bed in the Government Hospital and if any such denial is made, the same amounts to the violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India".
Failure on the part of a Government hospital to provide timely and proper medical treatment to a person in need of such treatment results in violation of his right to life guaranteed under Article 21. Article 21 of the Constitution casts the obligation on the State to preserve life.
There is no bigger emergency than a nation-wide epidemic endangering the lives of millions of people. Denying treatment or abusing patients on account of non-payment of fees is clearly unconstitutional and violative of Article 21, right to life and liberty. The court must look at it on humanitarian basis and catch hold of all persons breaking the core principles in our laws.
INTERNATIONAL COVENANTS AND LAWS ON RIGHTS OF THE DEAD
25. Geneva Convention 1949: Article 16 of this covenant states, "As far as military consideration allow, each party to the conflict shall facilitate the steps taken to protect the killed – against ill treatments."
26. Australia's Defence Force Manual, 1994 states, "The remains of the dead , regardless of whether they are combatants , non-combatants, protected persons or civilians are to be respected, in particular their honour, family rights, religions convictions and practices and manners and customs at all times they shall be humanely treated."
27. The UK Military Manual, 1958states"the dead must be protected against maltreatment."
28. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights: The 2005 resolution on human rights and forensic science underlined the importance of dignified handling of human remains, including their proper management and disposal as well as of respect for the needs of families.
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