Justice Ashok Bhushan took a suo moto cognizance of a letter by Senior Advocate Ashwani Kumar highlighting news reports in this ill-treatment of patients.
Today, Supreme Court will hear a matter pertaining to alleged harassment of Covid-19 positive patients and mishandling of bodies of those who succumbed to the virus.
Sr. Adv. Ashwani Kumar wrote to CJI S A Bobde and other justices of the apex court, urging them to heed reports about coronavirus patients being ill-treated and bodies of those dying of the infection not being given a decent burial .
He specifically referred to two alleged incidents from Madhya Pradesh and Puducherry.
“The tragic and condemnable sight of a Covid-19 patient being chained to a bed in a hospital in Madhya Pradesh and another sight in Puducherry of a dead body being thrown in a pit for burial, has shocked the conscience of the Republic committed to human dignity under the Constitution, which recognizes dignity as a core constitutional value at the pinnacle in the hierarchy of non-negotiable constitutional rights,” mentioned in the letter.
He mentioned that these incidents were a grave infraction of the citizen’s right to die with dignity, recognised by the apex court on various occasions. Kumar pointed out that the Supreme Court and different high courts have in the past given judgments declaring that the right to die with dignity and right to decent burial or cremation is fundamental.