Delhi govt calls contempt plea over mismanagement of bodies ‘preposterous’
It was “unfortunate” and “preposterous” that a contempt plea had been moved even when the government is doing its best, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain told a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan.Updated: Jun 29, 2020, 23:33 IST
The Delhi government on Monday told the Delhi High Court that the city was facing a manpower shortage after four doctors succumbed to Covid-19 and thousands of healthcare professionals were infected. The government said that it was “preposterous” to move a contempt petition against it over the managing of bodies at such a time.
Appearing for the Delhi government, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, told a bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan that at a time when four doctors have succumbed to Covid-19 and thousands of healthcare workers have been infected, it was “unfortunate” and “preposterous” that a contempt plea had been moved even when the government is doing its best.
The court was hearing a contempt plea moved by advocate Avadh Kaushik seeking action against the Delhi government and the medical director of Lok Nayak Hospital for allegedly not adhering to the undertaking given to the High Court with regard to handling bodies of Covid-19 victims. In his plea, Kaushik has alleged that bodies were lying in the same wards and corridors of the Lok Nayak Hospital where Covid-19 patients were admitted and kept.
Additionally, the court was also hearing a plea which it had initiated itself on the piling of bodies at the hospital mortuaries and crematoriums. The court was hearing another matter by an NGO Mokshda Paryavaran Evam Van Suraksha Samiti through advocate Gaurav Bansal, offering its services of green cremations to the city.
Advocate Akhil Mittal, the standing counsel of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, had, however, opposed the services and said that there would be confusion if this NGO was allowed to operate as there is already another NGO involved in the work.
In a status report, the civic body also said that there is no piling or backlog of bodies and the work is going on smoothly.
On Monday, ASG Jain told the court that the issue of body management is also pending before the Supreme Court, which had taken suo moto cognizance of the matter based on news reports. He said that the matter would be heard on July 20.
Following this, the court posted the matter for July 29 for further hearing and said it would wait for the orders of the apex court in the matter before passing any direction or order.