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Supreme Court of India
In Re The Proper Treatment Of Covid … vs For on 18 December, 2020
Author: Ashok Bhushan
Bench: M Shah, R S Reddy, A Bhushan
REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CIVIL ORIGINAL JURISDICTION SUO MOTU WRIT PETITION (CIVIL) NO.7 OF 2020 IN RE: THE PROPER TREATMENT OF COVID 19 PATIENTS AND DIGNIFIED HANDLING OF DEAD BODIES IN THE HOSPITALS ETC. O R D E R
1. We have heard Shri Tushar Mehta, learned Solicitor
General for India and learned counsel appearing for
various States. By our order dated 27.11.2020 passed in
this proceeding we have taken suo motu cognizance of the
incident which happened in Rajkot, Gujarat on 26.11.2020
resulting in death of Covid patients in the Covid
Hospital. The Court has also taken notice of earlier
incidents of fire in Covid Hospitals. Learned Solicitor
General had submitted that immediate steps shall be taken
and the report will be submitted. State of Gujarat was
also directed to submit the report.
2. Affidavits have been filed by Union of India on
30.11.2020 and 11.12.2020. The Union of India in its
affidavit dated 30.11.2020 has brought on record the
letter dated 28.11.2020 issued by Ministry of Home
Signature Not Verified
Digitally signed by
Government of India. The Government of India
issued advisory to all the States to prevent the
recurrence of fire incident in Covid Hospitals and
Nursing Homes. The Union of India has called for the
status of implementation of guidelines issued in
reference to preventing recurrence of fire accidents in
Hospitals, status of ‘No Objection Certificate’, report
regarding inspection and re-inspection of Hospitals and
Nursing Homes. In pursuance of the orders issued by Union
of India to all the States, status reports were sent to
the Union of India which has been compiled in Affidavit
dated 11.12.2020. Although different States and Union
Territories have taken measures and conducted
inspections, found out shortcomings regarding prevention
of occurrence of fire in the Hospitals and Nursing Homes,
further, audits and inspections are required to be taken.
Few States have also filed their separate affidavits
enumerating their steps taken by them in compliance of
the advisory and requirement for. The Union of India has
directed the States and Union Territories to update their
respective local building bye laws/fire services
synchronising them in line of “Model Bill on maintenance
of fire and emergency service, 2019”, circulated by
Ministry of Home Affairs on 16.09.2019.
3. The State of Gujarat has filed separate affidavit
bringing on record the directions issued by the State and
the details of inspection undertaken and audit of few
dedicated Covid hospitals. It has further stated that a
nodal officer for fire safety has been appointed in
dedicated covid hospitals (Government and Private
hospitals). We with regard to above, issue following
1) All States/Union Territories should appoint one
nodal officer for each covid hospital, if not
already appointed, who shall be made responsible
for ensuring the compliance of all fire safety
2) In each district, State Government should
constitute a committee to carry fire audit of
each Covid hospital atleast once in a month and
inform the deficiency to the management of the
hospital and report to the Government for taking
follow up action.
3) The Covid hospital who have not obtained NOC from
fire department of the State should be asked to
immediately apply for NOC and after carrying
necessary inspection, decision shall be taken.
Those Covid hospitals who have not renewed their
NOC should immediately take steps for renewal on
which appropriate inspection be taken and
decision be taken. In event, Covid Hospital is
found not having NOC or not having obtained
renewal, appropriate action be taken by the
4. The State of Gujarat has also brought on record the
notification appointing Justice D.A. Mehta to undertake
enquiry with regard to fire in Shrey Hospital,
Navrangpura, Ahmedabad, in addition to enquiry in to the
incident of fire in Uday Shivanand Hospital, Rajkot. The
State to extend all cooperation to the Enquiry Commission
so that Enquiry report be submitted at early date and the
appropriate remedial action be taken by the State.
5. Due to unprecedented Pandemic, everybody in the world
is suffering, one way or the other. It is a world war
against COVID-19. Therefore, there shall be Government
Public Partnership to avoid world war against COVID-19.
6. Right to health is a fundamental right guaranteed
under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Right to
health includes affordable treatment. Therefore, it is
the duty upon the State to make provisions for affordable
treatment and more and more provisions in the hospitals
to be run by the State and/or local administration are
made. It cannot be disputed that for whatever reasons
the treatment has become costlier and costlier and it is
not affordable to the common people at all. Even if one
survives from COVID-19, many times financially and
economically he is finished. Therefore, either more and
more provisions are to be made by the State Government
and the local administration or there shall be cap on the
fees charged by the private hospitals, which can be in
exercise of the powers under the Disaster Management Act.
7. Despite the Guidelines and SOPs issued, for lack of
implementation the Pandemic has spread like wild fire. A
strict and stern action should be taken against those who
are violating the Guidelines and SOPs, whoever he may be
and whatever position the violator is occupying.
8. Every State must act vigilantly and to work with the
Centre harmoniously. It is the time to rise to the
occasion. Safety and health of the citizens must be the
first priority, rather than any other considerations.
9. People should understand their duty and follow rules
very strictly. It is the duty of every citizen to
perform their fundamental duties as guaranteed under the
Constitution of India. By not following the
Guidelines/SOPs issued by the State from time to time,
such as, not wearing the masks, not keeping social
distances, to participate in the gatherings and the
celebrations without maintaining social distances, they
are ultimately not damaging themselves but they cause
damage to the others also. They cannot be permitted to
play with the lives of the others and they cannot be
permitted to infringe the rights of other citizens, like
right to health guaranteed under Article 21 of the
Constitution of India.
10. There is a need to help and guide our people to
implement the guidelines and the SOPs issued by the
Government, either the Union or the State, such as,
wearing of masks, keeping the social distance etc. In
many States, despite the huge fine recovered, such as,
Rs. 80 to 90 crores in the State of Gujarat alone, people
are not following the guidelines and the SOPs. There
must be a strict implementation by the authorities so as
to ensure that the SOPs and the guidelines issued from
time to time are strictly adhered to and followed by the
people. Additional Chief Secretary (Home)/Secretary
(Home) of respective States shall ensure the strict
implementation of the SOPs and the guidelines with the
help of the concerned Superintendent of Police/District
Superintendent of Police and the Police In-charge of the
concerned police station.
11. We have already issued various directions with regard
to measures to be taken to contain the Covid-19. We once
again reiterate the State to issue necessary directions
with regard to following measures so as to effectively
monitor and supervise the implementation of various SOPs
i) More and more police personnel shall be deployed at
the places where there is likelihood of gathering by
the people, such as, Food Courts, Eateries, Vegetable
Markets (Wholesale or Retail), sabzi Mandies, bus
stations, railway stations, street vendors, etc.
ii) As far as possible, unless must, no permission shall
be granted by the local administration or the
Collector/DSP for celebration/gathering even during
the day hours and wherever the permissions are
granted, the local
administration/DSP/Collector/Police In-charge of the
local police station shall ensure the strict
compliance of the Guidelines/SOPs. There should be a
mechanism to check the number of people attending
such function/gathering, such as, the particulars
with respect to how many persons are going to attend
the celebration/gathering, timings during which the
celebration/gathering is to take place etc.
iii) There shall be more and more testing and to declare
the correct facts and figures. One must be
transparent in number of testing and declaring the
facts and figures of the persons who are Corona
Positive. Otherwise, the people will be misled and
they will be under impression that everything is all
right and they will become negligent.
iv) Whenever directions are issued under the Disaster
Management Act directing the corporate
hospitals/private hospitals to keep 50% or any other
percentage free municipal beds, it must be strictly
complied with and there shall be constant vigilance
v) There shall be free helpline numbers to redress the
grievances of common man, when there is non-
compliance of the directions by the private
vi) Curfew on weekends/night be considered by States
where it is not in place.
vii) In a micro containment zone or in an area where
number of cases are on higher side, to cut the chain,
they should be sealed and there should be complete
lockdown so far as such areas are concerned. Such
containment areas need to be sealed for few days
except essential services. The same is required to
break the chain of virus spread.
viii) Any decision to impose curfew and/or lockdown must be
announced long in advance so that the people may know
and make provisions for their livelihood, like ration
ix) Another issue is a fatigue of front row health care
officers, such as, Doctors, Nurses as well as
workers. They are already exhausted physically and
mentally due to tireless work for eight months. Some
mechanism may be required to give them intermittent
12. One more issue has been raised before us regarding
gathering organised by Political parties. The Political
parties organise different proceedings in connection of
election as well as in reference to election of different
level including the General Election which are to take
place in few States next year.
13. The Election Commission of India has issued broad
guidelines for conduct of General Elections/Bye-Elections
during Covid-19 in August, 2020. With regard to campaign
of political parties following are the guidelines issued
by Election Commission of India: –
“13. CAMPAIGN BY THE POLITICAL
1) Door to Door Campaign: – Subject to any
other restriction(s) including extant
COVID-19 guidelines, a group of 5(five)
persons including candidates, excluding
security personnel, if any, is allowed to
do door to door campaigning.
2) Road Shows: -The Convoy of vehicles should
be broken after every 5(five) vehicles
instead of 10 vehicles (excluding the
security vehicles, if any). The interval
between two sets of convoy of vehicles
should be half an hour instead of gap of
100 meters. (In supersession of Para 5.8.1
of Returning Officer’s Handbook 2019)”
3) Election Meetings: – Public
gatherings/rallies may be conducted
subject to adherence to extant COVID-19
guidelines. District Election Officer
should take following steps for this
(a) District Election Officer should,
in advance, identify dedicated
grounds for public gathering with
clearly marked Entry/Exit points.
(b) In all such identified grounds,
the District Election Officer
should, in advance, put markers to
ensure social distancing norms by
(c) Nodal District Health Officer
should be involved in the process
to ensure that all COVID-19
related guidelines are adhered to
by all concerned in the district.
(d) District Election Officer and
District Superintendent of Police
should ensure that the number of
attendees does not exceed the
limit prescribed by State Disaster
Management Authority for public
(e) DEO should depute Sector Health
Regulators to oversee that COVID-
19 instructions/guidelines are being followed during these meetings. (f) The political parties and
candidates concerned should ensure
that all COVID-19 related
requirement like face masks,
sanitizers, thermal scanning etc.
are fulfilled during each of these
(g) Non-Compliance of Instructions: –
Anybody violating instructions on
COVID-19 measures will be liable
to proceeded against as per the
provisions of Section 51 to 60 of
the Disaster Management Act, 2005,
besides legal action under Section
1988 of the IPC, and other legal
provisions as applicable, as
specified in Order No.40-3/2020-
DM-I(A) dated 29th July, 2020 of
Ministry of Home Affairs. District
Election Officer should bring this
to the notice of all concerned.
4) Allocation of public spaces must be done
using Suvidha app in the manner already
prescribed by Commission.”
14. All the States / Union Territories to issue necessary
directions to ensure compliance of aforesaid guidelines
and guidelines although were issued by General
Election/Bye Election, that can be implemented by
different States with suitable modifications with
reference to Elections of other organisations to ensure
safety of people in general from Covid-19.
15. We allow further four weeks’ time to all the States
and Union of India to file affidavit bringing on record
various measures as indicated in this order for
consideration and further directions.
List after four weeks.
( ASHOK BHUSHAN )
( R. SUBHASH REDDY )
( M.R. SHAH )
December 18, 2020.
12 ITEM NO.1 Court 7 (Video Conferencing) SECTION PIL-W [FOR ORDERS] S U P R E M E C O U R T O F I N D I A RECORD OF PROCEEDINGS
Suo Motu Writ Petition (Civil) No(s).7/2020
IN RE THE PROPER TREATMENT OF COVID 19 PATIENTS AND DIGNIFIED
HANDLING OF DEAD BODIES IN THE HOSPITALS ETC.
(IA No. 63664/2020 – APPLICATION FOR EXEMPTION FROM FILING ORIGINAL
IA No. 54973/2020 – APPROPRIATE ORDERS/DIRECTIONS
IA No. 55794/2020 – APPROPRIATE ORDERS/DIRECTIONS
IA No. 56067/2020 – APPROPRIATE ORDERS/DIRECTIONS
IA No. 90409/2020 – APPROPRIATE ORDERS/DIRECTIONS
IA No. 54881/2020 – APPROPRIATE ORDERS/DIRECTIONS
IA No. 55938/2020 – APPROPRIATE ORDERS/DIRECTIONS
IA No. 68811/2020 – CLARIFICATION/DIRECTION
IA No. 54900/2020 – EARLY HEARING APPLICATION
IA No. 55936/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 56420/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 68639/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 56142/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 118651/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 55792/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 56124/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 68519/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 74588/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 90410/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 54885/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 55398/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 55939/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 72559/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 54982/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 72111/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 90398/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 68817/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING AFFIDAVIT
IA No. 92849/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM FILING O.T.
IA No. 74671/2020 – EXEMPTION FROM PAYING COURT FEE
IA No. 74670/2020 – INTERVENTION APPLICATION
IA No. 55790/2020 – INTERVENTION APPLICATION
IA No. 63659/2020 – INTERVENTION APPLICATION
IA No. 54880/2020 – INTERVENTION APPLICATION
IA No. 55937/2020 – INTERVENTION APPLICATION
IA No. 90394/2020 – INTERVENTION/IMPLEADMENT
IA No. 77370/2020 – INTERVENTION/IMPLEADMENT
IA No. 54971/2020 – INTERVENTION/IMPLEADMENT
IA No. 55935/2020 – INTERVENTION/IMPLEADMENT
IA No. 68561/2020 – INTERVENTION/IMPLEADMENT
IA No. 54897/2020 – INTERVENTION/IMPLEADMENT
IA No. 57318/2020 – INTERVENTION/IMPLEADMENT
IA No. 54902/2020 – PERMISSION TO APPEAR AND ARGUE IN PERSON
IA No. 63660/2020 – PERMISSION TO APPEAR AND ARGUE IN PERSON
IA No. 54978/2020 – PERMISSION TO APPEAR AND ARGUE IN PERSON
IA No. 56419/2020 – PERMISSION TO FILE ADDITIONAL
Date : 18-12-2020 This matter was called on for orders today.
CORAM : HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE ASHOK BHUSHAN
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE R. SUBHASH REDDY
HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE M.R. SHAH
For Petitioner(s) By Courts Motion
For Respondent(s) Mr. Tushar Mehta, SG
Mr. K.M. Nataraj, ASG
Mr. Shantanu Sharma, Adv.
Mr. Gurmeet Singh Makker AOR
Mr. Rajat Nair, Adv.
Mr. Kanu Agrawal, Adv.
Mr. Prashant Singh B, Adv.
Mr. Raj Bahadur Yadav, Adv.
Mr. Saurabh Mishra, Adv.
Mr. Mohd. Akhil, Adv.
Mr. B. V. Balaram Das, AOR
Arunachal Pradesh Mr. Abhimanyu Tewari, AOR
Ms. Eliza Bar, Adv.
Assam Mr. Nalin Kohli, AAG
Mr. Shuvodeep Roy, Adv.
Mr. Ankit Roy, Adv.
Mr. Rahul Raj Mishra, Adv.
Ms. Nimisha, Adv.
GNCTD Mr. K.V. Vishwanathan, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Chirag M. Shroff, AOR
Ms. Abhilasha Bharti, Adv.
Goa Mr. Arun R. Pedneker, Adv.
Mr. Sachin Patil AOR
Gujarat Mr. Tushar Mehta, SG
Ms. Manisha Lavkumar, Sr. Adv.
Mr. Aniruddha P. Mayee AOR
Ms. Deepanwita Priyanka, Adv.
Ms. Aastha Mehta, Adv.
Haryana Mr. Anish Kumar Gupta, Adv.
Ms. Archana Preeti Gupta, Adv.
Mr. Chandra Shekhar Suman, Adv.
Mr. Puneet Sheoran, Adv.
Ms. Rita Gupta, Adv.
Ms. Deepshikha Bharati, Adv.,
Haryana Dr. Monika Gusain, AOR
H.P. Mr. Himanshu Tyagi, AOR
Jharkhand Mr. Kumar Anurag Singh, Addl. Standing Counsel
Mr. Saurabh Jain, Adv.
Mr. Anando Mukherjee, Adv.
J&K Mr. G.M. Kawoosa, Adv.
Ms. Manjula Gupta, Adv.
Kerala Ms. Priyanka Prakash, Adv.
Ms. Beena Prakash, Adv.
Mr. G. Prakash, Adv.
Manipur Mr. Pukhrambam Ramesh Kumar, Adv.
Ms. Anupama Ngangom, Adv.
Mr. Karun Sharma, Adv.
Maharashtra Mr. Rahul Chitnis ADV.
Mr. Sachin Patil, AOR
Mr. Geo Joseph, Adv.
Meghalaya Mr. Amit Kumar, Adv.
Mr. Avijit Mani Tripathi, Adv.
Mr. T.K. Nayak, Adv.
Mr. Abhikalp, Adv.
Mizoram Mr. Siddhesh Kotwal, Adv.
Mr. Divyansh Tiwari, Adv.
Ms. Ana Upadhyay, Adv.
Nagaland Mrs. K. Enatoli Sema, Adv
Mr. Amit Kumar Singh, Adv.
Punjab Mr. Atul Nanda, AG
Ms. Uttara Babbar, Adv.
Ms. Bhavana Duhoon, Adv.
Mr. Manan Bansal, Adv.
Rajasthan Dr. Manish Singhvi, Sr. Advocate
Mr. Sandeep Kumar Jha Advocate
T.N. Mr. Jayanth Muthuraj, Sr. Adv.
Mr. M.Yogeshkanna AOR
Mr. Rajarajeshwaran, Adv.
Mr. Aditya Chadha, Adv.
Telangana Mr. S. Udaya Kumar Sagar, Adv.
Ms. Swati Bhardwaj, Adv.
Tripura Mr. Shuvodeep Roy, Adv.
Mr. Rahul Raj Mishra, Adv.
WB Mr. Suhaan Mukerji, Adv.
Ms. Liz Mathew, Adv.
Mr. Vishal Prasad, Adv.
Mr. Nikhil Parikshith, Adv.
Mr. Sayandeep Pahari, Adv.
For M/S. PLR Chambers And Co.
U.P. Ms. Garima Prashad, Adv.
Mr. Nagender Singh, Adv.
Sikkim Mr. Raghvendra Kumar, Adv.
Mr. Anand Kumar Dubey, Adv.
Mr. Narendra Kumar, AOR
Karnataka Mr. Shubhranshu Padhi, AOR
Mr. Ashish Yadav, Adv.
Mr. Rakshit Jain, Adv.
Mr. Vishal Bansal, Adv.
Odisha Mr. Shibashish Misra, Adv.
A & N Mr. K.V. Jagdishvaran, Adv.
Ms. G. Indira, AOR
Puducherry Mr. V.G. Pragasam, Adv.
Mr. S. Prabu Ramasubramanian, Adv.
Mr. Awanish Sinha, AOR
Mr. S.K. Mohanty, Adv.
Ms. Sweta Rani, Adv.
Ms. Gitanshi Arora, Adv.
I.A. 90394/20 Mr. Pawan Shree Agrawal, Adv.
& 90409/20 Ms. Abhipsa Anamika, Adv.
Applicant in person
Municipal Corporation Mr. Ashish Wad, Adv.
Of Greater Mumbai Ms. Tamali Wad, Adv.
Mr. Sidharth Mahajan, Adv.
Ms. Sukriti Jaggi, Adv.
Mr. Ajeyo Sharma, Adv.
M/S. J S Wad And Co.
Intervenor Mr. Subhash Chandran, Adv.
Mr. Biju P Raman, AOR
55937&55938 Mr. M. Shoeb Alam, Adv.
Mr. Talha Abdul Rahman, AOR 55935 Dr. Ishwar Gilada, Adv. Mr. Rohit Rathi, AOR 54897/20 Mr. Shashank Deo Sudhi, Adv.
Mr. Mukesh Kumar, Applicant in person
Ms. Aparna Bhat, AOR
Ms. Karishma Maria, Adv.
UPON hearing the counsel the Court made the following
O R D E R
Four weeks’ time is granted to all the States and Union of
India to file affidavit to bring on record various measures as
indicated in the signed reportable order for consideration and
(MEENAKSHI KOHLI) (RENU KAPOOR)
ASTT. REGISTRAR-cum-PS BRANCH OFFICER
[Signed reportable order is placed on the file]