Policy for On-Duty Deathsin Hospitals or Non-Requisitioned Nursing Homes: High Court Seeks Delhi Government’s Stand on Compensation in COVID- 19

The Delhi High Court in the case Shakuntala Devi Versus PNB Housing Finance Ltd and Anr observed in regarding with the steps taken by the Delhi Government about the compensation payable to doctors, nurses, security staff, sanitation staff, paramedical staff and other attendant staff, who were working with private or public hospitals or running private nursing homes that were not requisitioned for treatment and who died during the COVID-19 wave and what policy are framed by it regarding the compensation.

counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner on April 20 apprised the Court that the petitioner had already deposited Rs. 90 lakhs with the Debt Recovery Tribunal.

the distinction drawn by the Delhi Government between doctors and paramedic staff working in either Government or Private Hospitals requisitioned by the State with other nursing homes which may not have been requisitioned on account of their capacity, is not justified. Observed by the bench in this year in the month of January.

the doctors and paramedic staff working at such nursing homes were also exposing themselves to the risk of contracting covid and suffering death on that account and should not ignore this fact the court observed further the court state only because some nursing homes may not have been requisitioned due to their bed capacity.

as the late husband of the petitioner was running a nursing home with less than 50 beds and such nursing homes were not requisitioned by the Delhi Government and was not covered by the cabinet decision submitted by the petitioner in the case.

The Bench further observed that the distinction drawn between doctors and paramedic staff working in either Government or Private Hospitals by the Delhi Government requisitioned on account of their capacity which may not have been requisitioned by the State with other nursing homes and therefore it is not justified.

This is because doctors and other paramedic staff serving in even private hospitals which were requisitioned by the GNCTD are covered by the cabinet decision, the distinction sought to be drawn by the GNCTD may not be justified. The Court earlier observed.

the small nursing homes were also providing treatment against covid to thousands of residents of Delhi and if their numbers are put together, they may well exceed the number of beds available in government hospitals and hospitals which were requisitioned by the Government for treatment of covid during the peak of pandemic during first and second waves, a well-known fact.

The division bench comprising of Justice Rajiv Shakdher and Justice Poonam A. Bamba observed the petitioner’s husband was serving at the New Life Hospital, G.T.B. Nagar, and was on Covid Duty further the bench stated while dealing with a plea filed by widow of late Dr. Harish Kumar, who passed away during the First Wave of Covid-19 Pandemic, in June 2020.

The next hearing of the matter will take place on 25th May.

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