Delhi HC Seeks Explanation From the Delhi Govt. For Slow Rate Disposal of COVID-19 Related Dead Bodies

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The Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Govt. to provide reasons, after hearing a suo motu petition, on the slow rate of disposal of COVID-19 associated dead bodies reasons in the City.

Facts of the Case

On May 31, 2020, the Court noted that only 7 out of 45 dead bodies got cremated. There was a further addition of 10 new bodies in the City. Thus, it was seeking an explanation from the Delhi Government on it’s slow actions. The High Court took suo motu cognizance after the bodies of the people who had died since 5 days were not cremated. Unfortunately, inside the morgue of Lok Nayak Hospital, all racks were still full with more dead bodies on the floor.

Respondent’s Submission

Nigam Bodh Ghat crematorium, Pachkuiyan and Punjabi Bagh crematoriums are being authorized to dispose of the dead bodies of those infected by COVID-19. The respondents also submitted that the timings of the crematoriums have extended. The new timings are from 7 am to 10 pm and from 9 am to 4 pm.

Court’s Decision

The Court ordered the Delhi Government:
“We would like to know from the respondents the reasons for the slow disposal of these dead bodies. We, thus, direct the respondents to file further status report/affidavit….”
The Court asked the Delhi Govt. if they were following their own guidelines, for disposal of COVID- 19 related dead bodies.

Final Verdict

Further, the Court ordered:
“It is one thing to issue the directions/guidelines and it is a different thing to ensure the execution of those directions. We are not burdening the respondents by adding any further directions to the directions already issued by the respondent No.1 on 30th May 2020.”
The Court expects the respondents to execute the directions for the disposal of the dead bodies at its earliest. It also expects to inform the relatives of the expired persons and complete the formalities immediately. The matter is further listed on June 15, 2020.

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