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Horrific Handling of Bodies of Those Who Died Of COVID19: Delhi HC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance of a Newspaper Report [Read Order]

Karan Tripathi
28 May 2020 2:38 PM GMT
Horrific Handling of Bodies of Those Who Died Of COVID19: Delhi HC Takes Suo Moto Cognizance of a Newspaper Report [Read Order]
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Delhi High Court has taken 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 Division Bench of Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw and Justice Asha Menon has 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.

The newspaper report which the court perused has mentioned the following:

  1. that inside the COVID-19 Mortuary of Lok Nayak Hospital in Delhi, there are 108 bodies; all 80 storage racks are full and there are 28 bodies on the floor, piled on top of each other;
  2. Lok Nayak Hospital is the largest dedicated COVID – 19 hospital in the city and its mortuary is the repository of bodies of those who died of the corona virus disease or are suspected to have died of it;
  3. on 26.05.2020, eight bodies were returned from Nigam Bodh Ghat, CNG Crematorium because the facility was not in a position to accept more bodies, as only two of the six furnaces were working;
  4. bodies of those who died 5 days ago, are yet to be cremated
  5. the backlog in disposal of bodies has been caused owing to non-functioning of CNG furnaces at Nigam Bodh and Punjabi Bagh crematoriums;
  6. owing to the CNG furnaces not functioning, wood based cremation, which earlier was not deemed safe, has been permitted; inspite of the same being permitted, the personnel operating the said crematoriums are refusing to take part in wood based cremations;
  7. there is unrest at the Nigam Bodh Ghat; the staff and priests working there have stopped functioning.

While taking the suo moto cognizance, the court highlighted that:

'We, as citizens of Delhi are pained at the aforesaid state of affairs and as judges find the situation as reported and if true, to be highly dissatisfactory and violative of the rights of the dead.'

The court have also directed for this order to be given to Delhi Government and all the Municipal Corporations in Delhi.

Click Here To Download Order

[Read Order]

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