Assuming every Covid death was due to medical negligence is too much: SC

New Delhi, Sep 8 (IANS): The Supreme Court on Wednesday said presuming all deaths due to Covid-19 during the second wave of the pandemic were due to negligence would be "too much".

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said: "To assume that each death due to Covid-19 took place due to negligence is too much".

The bench observed that though the second wave had an impact across the country, however, it cannot be presumed that all deaths occurred due to negligence.

"Courts cannot have a presumption that all Covid deaths happened due to medical negligence", said the bench also comprising Justices Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli, as it refused to entertain a plea seeking compensation for the kin of the victims by treating it as medical negligence.

Advocate Sriram Parakat, representing the petitioner, contended before the bench this petition is different. He added that the petition focuses on the element of negligence and compensation for the deaths which occurred due to medical negligence.

The bench told the petitioner Deepak Raj Singh counsel to move competent authorities with his suggestions and also cited the top court's June 30 judgment, directing the National Disaster Management Authority to frame appropriate guidelines within six weeks for ex-gratia assistance for family members of persons who succumbed to Covid.

Referring this judgment, the top court said the court has taken a view with regard to humanity and not due to negligence. It further added, "The government is yet to come out with the policy. If you have any suggestion with regard to implementation of that policy, you can approach the competent authority".

The bench noted that the top court has already taken suo motu cognizance on Covid preparedness and a national task force has been constituted by it to examine several aspects.

The bench reiterated that it is not possible to make a general presumption of medical negligence as the reason behind deaths due to Covid.

After hearing arguments on the matter, the top court asked the petitioner to withdraw his plea and move before a competent authority.




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