Supreme Court Questions Uttar Pradesh Govt on Disappearance of Covid Patient

Khushi Gupta

Published on: May 7, 2022 at 20:58 IST

The Supreme Court pulled up the Uttar Pradesh Police and State Administration over its inability to trace an 82-year old Covid Patient who went missing from a hospital in Prayagraj more than a year ago and its ‘habit’ not to comply with the Allahabad High Court’s directions.

“It has become a habit with you. You (state) don’t comply with the directions (of the High Court) and in the last minute when contempt is sought, you approach this court,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India, NV Ramana observed on Friday.

The High Court’s directive was issued on a Habeas Corpus Petition filed by Rahul Yadav, son of Ram Lal Yadav, who was admitted to the Tej Bahadur Sapru hospital on May 4, 2021.

By May 7, the man’s oxygen level dangerously dipped to 68% following which he was shifted to the hospital’s trauma centre. This was the last the family heard from the hospital about him. The 82-year-old was neither discharged nor was his body handed over to the family.

The Supreme Court Bench noticed that the High Court took up the Habeas Corpus Petition filed by the man’s son on 16 Occasions but nothing was forthcoming from the Police or the State Officials.

Uttar Pradesh Government’s Senior Law Officer, Additional Advocate General Garima Parshad told the Court that the state took all possible steps to trace the retired junior engineer but did not succeed.

The Judges asked the State’s Law Officer, “Has he vanished into thin air. How can he be missing? His oxygen level was 68, he was unable to walk, where will the body go?”

The Uttar Pradesh Government’s Law Officer said the state suspended all the doctors, removed nurses and took disciplinary action against those responsible. She pointed out that the CCTV records were sent for forensic examination but half of them were found to be not working.

“Imagine the family’s desperation. It has been one year he has been missing. Consider the agony of the family,” the Bench said as it stayed the High Court’s Order.

The Apex Court told the State to deposit Rs. 50,000 within four weeks to pay for the family’s legal expenses and asked the Government to see if some reasonable Compensation could be paid to the family.

The officer said that the State will pay if the Court directs. The matter will now be heard after 4 weeks.

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