- IN RE: THE PROPER TREATMENT OF COVID-19 PATIENTS AND DIGNIFIED HANDLING OF DEAD BODIES IN THE HOSPITALS ETC., 2020 SCC ONLINE SC 1036 - On 27.11.2020, the Court took suo motu cognizance of the incident which happened in Rajkot, Gujarat on 26.11.2020 resulting in the death of COVID-19 patients in the COVID-19 Hospital. The Court also took notice of earlier incidents of fire in COVID-19 Hospitals. Stressing upon the right to health being a fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India which includes affordable treatment, the Court said that either 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. The Court said that every State must act vigilantly and to work with the Centre harmoniously. Further, 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.
- KUSH KALRA V. UNION OF INDIA, 2020 SCC ONLINE SC 1017 - The direction in this case came after a PIL was filed before the Court seeking an end to the practice of authorities affixing posters outside residences of Covid-19 positive persons who are under home isolation. The Petition prayed that directions be issued to stop publishing the names of COVID-19 positive persons by the official of the Health Department in the States and Union Territories and also to stop freely circulating their names in welfare associations of colony and apartment complex which are serious violation of fundamental rights, right to privacy and right to live with dignity. The 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ has directed that no State or Union Territory is required to paste posters outside the residence of COVID-19 positive persons, as of now. The State Governments and Union Territories can do so only when any direction is issued by the competent authority under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
- IN RE: CONTAGION OF COVID 19 VIRUS IN CHILDREN PROTECTION HOMES, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 1026 - The 3-judge bench of L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and Ajay Rastogi, JJ has issued directions to ensure education of children in Child Care Institutions which has suffered due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Court issued the following directions
- State governments to provide the necessary infrastructure, stationary, books, printers along with the other equipment that is necessary for children to quantitatively attend online classes on the basis of the recommendation made by the District Child Protection Units, within 30 days from the date of the order.
- State Government shall also ensure that the required number of tutors are made available for teaching the children in various Child Care Institutions. Extra classes, if necessary, should also be taken for the children to help them in preparing for the final examinations to be held next year.
- District Child Protection Units shall inform the District Legal Service Authorities about the progress made in the infrastructure being provided to the Child Care Institutions and the functioning of online classes periodically i.e. once in a month.
- District Child Protection Units to make an assessment of the children who are restored to their families or guardians or foster homes during the lockdown by taking the assistance of other statutory bodies like the Child Welfare Committees and Juvenile Justice Boards.
- 4. GAJENDRA SHARMA V. UNION OF INDIA, 2020 SCC ONLINE SC 963 – It is a case relating to customers requesting to waive off interest on loan during the moratorium period, the 3-judge bench of Ashok Bhushan, R. Subhash Reddy and MR Shah, JJ has directed that all steps to implement the decision dated 23.10.2020 of the Government of India, Ministry of Finance be taken so that the benefit to the eight categories contemplated in the affidavit can be extended. The eight categories are:
(i) MSME loans
(ii) Education loans
(iii) Housing loans
(iv) Consumer durable loans
(v) Credit card dues
(vi) Automobile loans
(vii) Personal loans to professionals
(viii) Consumption loans up
5. GOVERNMENT OF NCT OF DELHI V. ASSOCIATION OF HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS, SPECIAL LEAVE TO APPEAL (C) NOS. 13530-13531/2020 - Refusing to interfere with the Delhi High Courts order staying Delhi Government’s decision to reserve 80% of ICU beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients, a vacation bench of Ashok Bhushan and B.R. Gavai, JJ has asked the Delhi High Court to hear the matter on 12.11.2020. The order came after Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain submitted before the Court that there was an urgent requirement of hearing the matter since situation in Delhi regarding necessity of providing ICU beds to Covid-19 patients are increasing day by day.
6. GURSIMRAN SINGH NARULA V. UNION OF INDIA, 2020 SCC ONLINE SC 906 - The 3-judge bench has asked the Central Government to consider and issue necessary directions in exercise of powers vested in it under the Disaster Management Act, 2005, regarding ban/Regulation on the usage of disinfection tunnels involving spraying or fumigation of chemical/organic disinfectants for human beings. The Central Government has to issue such directions within a month. The direction came in the case where the petitioner had sought ban on spraying of all kinds of disinfectants on human beings which is being done supposedly for protecting human beings from the COVID-19. The petitioner highlighted that the Ultraviolet (UV Lamps) should not be used to disinfect the hands and other areas of the skin and that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, has also not approved the use of any self-claimed organic or ayurvedic disinfectant for spraying or fumigation purposes nor approved any chemical disinfectants on human body but lot of organizations/public authorities are using chemical disinfectants for spraying and fumigation.