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Sion Hospital viral video: Bombay HC asks state to respond on procedure for disposal of dead bodies

The court directed the Maharashtra government and BMC to respond to the inquiry into the incident along with details of how bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients were handled and disposed off by July 1.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | Updated: June 26, 2020 5:45:00 pm
sion hospital, sion hospital dead bodies, Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, mumbai coronavirus, covid dead bodies disposal The purported video showed some bodies lying near COVID-19 patients undergoing treatment at the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital in Sion area of Mumbai. (File)

Expressing concerns over the manner in which the dead bodies of Covid-19 patients were handled at the Sion Hospital, the Bombay High Court Friday said that the issue was of serious concern and that such incidents should not occur again.

The court directed the Maharashtra government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to respond to the inquiry into the incident along with details of how bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients were handled and disposed off by July 1.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik was hearing, through video conference, a plea by BJP MLA Ashish Shelar which claimed that several videos from the Sion Hospital had come up showing the bodies of deceased patients lying on beds or on ground, next to the people undergoing treatment for coronavirus.

Shelar in his plea had sought a direction to the government and civic body to immediately stop the practice of keeping bodies of deceased COVID-19 patients in wards where people are being treated for the infection. He had also sought various reliefs including urgent financial packages for farmers and daily wage workers and special task force for e-learning of school students across the state, among others.

Senior Counsel Anil Sakhare for BMC informed the bench that the probe was underway and the civic authority needed time to submit its findings.

After hearing submissions, the court observed that the incident raised “serious concerns” about the management and disposal of bodies of Covid-19 victims and said that it was “widening the scope of the plea to include all government and civic hospitals in the state”. The bench directed advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to place before it the procedure for management and disposal of bodies of Covid- 19 victims by July 1 and posted further hearing on July 3.

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