The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that courts cannot hold that all deaths due to COVID-19 in the second wave of the pandemic were due to negligence. The Supreme Court refused to entertain a petition seeking compensation to the kin of the victims as medical negligence. A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Hima Kohli asked the petitioner Deepak Raj Singh to approach the competent authorities with his suggestions.
The bench said, ‘A large number of deaths occurred during the second wave and how is it possible to compensate the family by treating every death due to corona as medical negligence. The second wave had such an impact across the country that it cannot be assumed that all deaths were due to negligence. Courts cannot infer that all COVID deaths were due to medical negligence, as your petition says.
The apex court referred to a recent judgment of June 30, in which it directed the National Disaster Management Authority to recommend appropriate guidelines within six weeks for ex-gratia assistance to the family members of persons who died due to COVID-19. Had given. “In that judgment, the court has considered with respect to humanity and not because of negligence. The government is yet to come out with the policy. If you have any suggestion regarding the implementation of that policy, you can approach the competent authority.’
At the outset, advocate Sriram Parakat, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that his plea is different as it has taken into account an element of negligence and compensation for deaths due to medical negligence. The bench observed that since the petition was filed in the month of May, a lot of developments have taken place. The bench said, we have taken suo motu cognizance of the preparedness of Kovid and this court has constituted a national task force which is looking into several aspects.
The bench further told Parakat that, it was such a wave that it affected the entire country and the court cannot take a general presumption of medical negligence. The top court, while disposing of the petition, asked the petitioner to withdraw his petition and amend it and said that if there is any suggestion, the petitioner can approach the competent authority.