Bombay HC asks govt, BMC to explain process for disposal of bodies of Covid-19 victims
The advocate sought a direction to the government and BMC to immediately stop the practice of keeping bodies of Covid-19 infected victims in wards where people are being treated for the infection.Updated: Jun 04, 2020 22:35 IST
Taking cognizance of the petition filed by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar which raised concerns over an incident at Sion Hospital where Covid-19 infected patients were being treated next to the bodies of patients who had succumbed to the virus, the Bombay high court has directed the BMC and the state government to explain the process of handling and cremating bodies of those who have died due to the infectious disease.
The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice A A Sayyed while hearing a clutch of public interest litigations filed by various individuals, organisations and politicos was informed by advocates Rajendra Pai and Ameet Mehta that several videos from the hospital wherein bodies of deceased Covid-19 victims kept on beds or on the floor adjacent to people taking treatment for coronavirus had emerged.
He sought a direction to the government and BMC to immediately stop the practice of keeping bodies of Covid-19 infected victims in wards where people are being treated for the infection.
Shelar’s advocates further argued, “Retention of the bodies in active wards in Sion Hospital as recently reported is a matter of serious concern. It gives rise to medical as well as humanitarian issues. No civilized society can afford to repeatedly witness such incidents.”
In light of these submissions, Shelar sought directions to the authorities to initiate a probe into the incident and register cases against the hospital staff responsible for letting the bodies of the deceased remain in active wards and to follow procedure laid down by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Central government for disposal of bodies of Covid-19 victims.
After hearing the submissions, the court directed the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to respond with details about how bodies of Covid-19 victims were handled and disposed and posted the matter for hearing next week.