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Delhi High Court issues notice on plea seeking increase in number of crematoriums

On May 4, 2021, Delhi High Court issued notice to  Delhi government, Municipal Corporations, and others in response to a petition seeking an instantaneous increase in the number of crematorium grounds/burial areas for COVID-19 victims considering the enormous number of fatalities prevailing due to the current hardship. 

Prasanna, a practicing lawyer, pronounced in the petition that “there have been an alarming number of deaths in the country, particularly in the national capital, caused by an acute scarcity of clinic beds and other essentials consisting of testing kits and oxygen supply.”

The Centre, Delhi government, National Disaster Management Authority and the municipal bodies were issued a notice by a bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh, seeking their stand on the plea. 

The PIL, specifically filed by advocate Snigdha Singh, requests the authorities to guarantee that COVID casualties have the right to die with dignity. The plea stated the government’s absence of readiness and callous treatment of the second wave that resulted in a backlog of dead bodies. The crematorium grounds are nearly impossible to enter as they either refuse to allow the dead bodies or impose a higher price than usual. 

Given the present situation, the government will implement alternate plans such as briefly turning certain open outdoor spaces into cremation sites/burial ground, ensuring adequate resources needed to perform the funeral rites. Hospital equipment, such as PPE Kits, will be made accessible to the people witnessing or performing the funeral, and all the dead bodies will have access to electric crematoriums. 

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