‘Don’t shoot the messenger’: Supreme Court pulls up Delhi govt over harassment of doctors

The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Delhi government over suspension of healthcare workers for exposing facts related to the condition in hospitals while saying that doctors and nurses were “corona warriors” and needed to be protected.

The remarks were made by a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, SK Kaul, and MR Shah while hearing a suo motu cognisance matter related to the treatment of Covid-19 patients and dignified handling of bodies in government hospitals.

“Stop harassing doctors and registering FIRs. You can’t suppress the truth. Why did you suspend a doctor who made a video of the pathetic conditions of one of your hospitals?” the Supreme Court said and asked the Delhi government to file an affidavit in the case. The bench posted the hearing for Friday.

The Delhi government told the SC that it was committed to taking care of patients, managing of bodies and raising the number of Covid-19 tests.

“Don’t shoot the messenger, don’t threaten doctors and health workers, support them,” the Supreme Court said.

The development comes after the bench described the situation in the national capital as “deplorable and pathetic” in the last hearing on Friday.

The court also had issued notice to LNJP hospital, the largest hospital run by the Delhi government, and one of the dedicated Covid-19 treatment facilities in the national capital.

Chief Justice of India S A Bobde taken suo motu cognizance of media reports on “horrific scenes” at the hospital, apathy in treatment, and the handling of dead bodies.

“We are concerned with the living too… Please see the deplorable conditions of people in hospitals. Dead bodies are lying in the ward,” Justice Kaul said.

The bench was informed by the Delhi government counsel that after the recent visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to LNJP Hospital, things were being improved.

In another hearing earlier in the day, the Supreme Court asked the Centre to issue directions to states for payment of salaries and providing necessary quarantine facilities to doctors and healthcare workers engaged in treating Covid-19 patients.

Coronavirus deaths in Delhi was up by 437, taking its toll to 1,837 on Wednesday with 44,688 cases, according to the Health Ministry data.



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