Delhi High Court has directed the Delhi Government to file a status report highlighting the degree of compliance with its own guidelines on proper disposal of bodies of COVID19 patients.
The direction has been issued by the Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan in a suo moto matter concerning the sad state of affairs in which the bodies of those who have died of COVID19 are being handled by the mortuary as well as crematoriums.
The court said:
'It is one thing to issue the directions/guidelines and it is absolutely a different thing to ensure the execution of those directions. We are not burdening the respondents by adding any further directions to the directions already issued by the respondent No.1 on 30th May, 2020.'
The court further observed that it expects the Delhi Government to properly execute the said guidelines so that the concerned dead bodies may be disposed of at the earliest and the relatives of those persons who have expired should be informed and other formalities be completed immediately.
Earlier, the Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon had taken a suo moto cognizance of a newspaper report which has highlighted the sad state of affairs in which the bodies of those who have died of COVID19 are being handled by the mortuary as well as crematoriums.
The court had passed an order to bring the alleged human rights violations to the notice of the Chief Justice, to take up the aforesaid matter in public interest, for issuing requisite directions.
In the last hearing, the Delhi Government had informed the court that the highlighted situation arose due to the following unavoidable circumstances:
Delhi Government had further informed the court that the following urgent steps were taken to address the situation:
The court was also informed that 28 bodies were disposed of on 28 May, and by tomorrow (30 May) the remaining 35 bodies will be disposed of. Only those bodies will be retained back where PM / investigations are to be carried out.
The newspaper report which the court perused has mentioned the following:
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