The Supreme Court Wednesday pulled up the Delhi government for “harassing” doctors and healthcare workers and advised it to “stop registering FIRs against them”. “Your affidavit says everything is excellent in Delhi. You don’t want the truth to come out… You can’t suppress the truth,” Justice Ashok Bhushan, sitting with Justice S K Kaul and Justice M R Shah, observed.
“They are your warriors and this is how you treat them?… You can’t threaten doctors, staff. You can’t shoot the messenger… Stop harassing doctors, stop registering FIRs against them. Let them do their job,” said Justice Kaul.
The court also asked Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, who appeared for the Delhi government: “Why did you suspend a doctor who made a video of the pathetic conditions of one of your hospitals?”
The bench did not specify the incident it was referring to and asked the government to “make sure you stop harassment of doctors right away”.
The comments came as the court perused an affidavit filed by the Delhi government after the court on June 12 took suo motu cognizance of issues with Covid management and disposal of bodies of Covid victims in NCR hospitals.
Jain said the government was taking remedial measures like increasing testing numbers, etc. He submitted that help desks are being set up in hospitals, but the court wanted to know who is manning these desks, and said: “An IAS officer cannot supervise the hospital.. Some other body has to look into this and take steps.”
The ASG pointed out that a high-powered committee has been constituted now to oversee this. Intervening, Justice Shah said: “In some hospitals, patients are being discharged after 4 or 10 days without testing asymptomatic people.”
The court asked the Delhi government to file a better affidavit and fixed the matter for hearing on June 18.
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