The Calcutta High Court on Thursday considered a petition claiming that the burial in the graveyard of the dead body of a COVID casualty without the death certificate is derogatory to the WHO guidelines on "Infection Prevention and Control for the Safe Management of a Dead Body in the Context of COVID-19".
The petitioner-in-person contended that "adjacent to his residence, there is a graveyard and that on April 3, the local administration allowed the dead body of one Basarat Mollah, who expired due to the virus attack, to be buried though no death certificate was produced". The Court was further informed that the concerned district has recently been declared as a "hot spot" area.
The petitioner alleged that the state authorities have not taken appropriate steps as per the directives contained in the various orders as annexed to the writ petition. He submitted that he had ventilated his grievance to the authorities through a representation, but the same has not been considered till date and proper steps have not been taken, and hence, Such inaction warrants immediate interference of this Court.
"In the present unprecedented situation which has occasioned due to the COVID-19 virus, the authorities and the people at large are required to work hand in hand to avert any further disaster", observed the Single Judge.
"To ensure containment of the virus to the extent possible and at the same time to minimise the anxiety, agony and the threat perception", as an "interim measure", the Court directed the state-respondents to "take all necessary steps strictly in consonance with the guidelines issued by the various authorities, as annexed to the present writ petition". The bench has called for a report in the form of an affidavit apprising the Court about the developments and the steps taken.
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