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Situation Has Undertaken A Sea Change: Delhi High Court Closes Suo Moto Case Concerning Horrific Handling … – Live Law – Indian Legal News

Observing that the situation has undertaken a “sea change” since the country witnesses the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the Delhi High Court has closed the suo moto case registered by it concerning the way bodies were being handled by the mortuary as well as crematoriums back then.A division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla said:”The…
Observing that the situation has undertaken a “sea change” since the country witnesses the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic, the Delhi High Court has closed the suo moto case registered by it concerning the way bodies were being handled by the mortuary as well as crematoriums back then.
A division bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla said:
The Court had in May, 2020 taken suo moto cognizance of a newspaper report which showed that a large number of dead bodies of Covid victims were lying in hospitals, mortuaries and cremation grounds and cremation were not being undertaken of the dead due to shortage of sufficient facilities.
Thus, 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 background of large number of deaths suffered due to the pandemic, certain orders have been passed in the proceedings from time to time. Status reports were filed and it appears that certain steps have also been taken,” the Court noted while closing the proceedings.
It is pertinent to note that the newspaper report in question had mentioned the following:
* 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;
* 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;
* 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;
* bodies of those who died 5 days ago, are yet to be cremated
* the backlog in disposal of bodies has been caused owing to non-functioning of CNG furnaces at Nigam Bodh and Punjabi Bagh crematoriums;
* 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;
* 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 had said 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.’
Case Title: COURT ON ITS OWN MOTION v. GNCT OF DELHI AND ORS
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 315
Click Here To Read Order 

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