The matter will further be heard on April 21 on the status report and for further orders Credit: Social Media

Shillong: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed by the High Court of Meghalaya Bar Association on developments and the crisis that emerged while handling the last rites of Late Dr Sailo who had fallen victim to COVID-19.

The matter was taken up on Thursday via video conferencing. The court ordered that “Any person, local body/Durbar Shnong or organization which obstructs the State authorities in the control of the pandemic or any matter connected thereto, such as dead body management, cremation and burial shall be dealt with in accordance with law and cases to be registered under appropriate provisions of law.”

Senior advocate S P Mahanta, and K Paul, vice president of the Bar Association raised several issues in its petition. A brief about the additional affidavit are as follow:

I) Testing of persons who had voluntarily come forward to disclose their contact with the deceased doctor, to arrangements for food and water to the patients stranded inside the Bethany Hospital.

II) The obstruction and refusal to permit the burial and cremation by the local Durbar Shnong.

iii) Non-designation of any dedicated COVID Hospital.

iv) Non-designation of designated place for burial and cremation of COVID-19 victims.

The PIL pointed out the need for setting up screening booths in adequate numbers. Also wants the government to disclose the number of PPE’s and test kits available and their availability to hospitals and health centres across the State.

The court directed the government to immediately ensure the testing of the primary contacts. Persons who have voluntarily come forward should be given adequate assistance until their tests are done.

“That the State authorities shall sensitize the public especially where the cremation of burial grounds are situated to avoid any further unfortunate incident as had been witnessed on 15.04.2020,” the Court observed.

The matter will further be heard on April 21.

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