Fighting Coronavirus – Supreme Court takes the lead
– globalbihari bureau
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Centre to file a compliance report within four weeks on payment of salaries and quarantine facilities to doctors and healthcare workers. A bench of justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishab Kaul and M R Shah asked the Centre to issue directions to states in this regard and said that medical staff treating Coronavirus patients should not be denied quarantine facilities. It warned that the court would view any non-compliance seriously.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by a private doctor raising questions on the Centre’s May 15 decision of not making 14-day quarantine requirement mandatory for doctors.
The bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul, and MR Shah also pulled up the Delhi government over suspension of healthcare workers for exposing the condition in Delhi hospitals while hearing a suo motu cognisance matter about the treatment of Coronavirus patients and dignified handling of bodies in government hospitals. The bench termed the doctors and nurses as “corona warriors” who needed to be protected. “Stop harassing doctors and registering FIRs. You can’t suppress the truth. Why did you suspend a doctor who made a video of the pathetic conditions of one of your hospitals?” the Supreme Court asked and directed the Delhi government to file an affidavit in the case. The bench posted the hearing for Friday.
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In the meantime, terming it as “premature”, the three judge bench Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul, and MR Shah stayed the June 8 order of the Telangana High Court that directed the State Government to conduct tests for Covid-19 on dead bodies before they were released from hospitals. The apex court issued notice in this regard and listed the matter for further hearing after 2 weeks.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Supreme Court bench comprising of Justices R.F. Nariman, Navin Sinha, and B.R. Gavai, while hearing a plea for parole extension of an accused in a drug racket case, had remarked, “You see, the COVID-19 situation is not getting any better with each passing day. It is only getting worse in the country,”