A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice NJ Jamadar was hearing a PIL filed by BJP leader Ashish Shelar
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday said families of who died of COVID-19 due to medical negligence of state or civic run hospitals, would be entitled for compensation. The court reminded to the state government that state has duty towards its citizens.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice NJ Jamadar was hearing a public interest litigation filed by BJP leader Ashish Shelar, who alleged that state run hospitals are not properly following norms of the central government while handling and disposing of bodies of COVID-19 patients. Shelar in his petition pointed out 11 instances where patients died due to negligence of hospital staff. The High Court directed the state government to initiate inquiry in those 11 cases and file a detailed affidavit on November 23.
The court said, “If the instances are true and there is negligence on the part of hospital authorities then victim's family members would be entitled to compensation.” The bench also said even if the hospital concerned is run by a civic body, no one prevents the state government from seeking details.
“Don’t rely on a civic body. The state government has an overriding duty and responsibility. If someone dies in a train accident, then the victim’s family members are given compensation. Similarly, in these cases too, the government should give compensation,” Chief Justice Datta said.
The High Court said in addition to guidelines prescribed by the Union government on March 15 on disposal and management of bodies of COVID-19 patients, the Maharashtra government shall also follow nine guidelines laid down by the Calcutta High Court last month. The Calcutta High Court had said bodies of COVID-19 patients where post-mortem is not required shall be handed over to relatives for completion of last rites following safety precautions.