Telangana high court
Telangana high court
Litigation News

Supreme Court stays Telangana High Court order directing the conduct of COVID-19 tests on dead bodies

The Court today orally observed that the High Court order was premature, before issuing notice on the Telangana Government's plea challenging the High Court's May 26 order.

Debayan Roy

A three judge bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Ashok Bhushan today stayed a Telangana High Court order directing the state to conduct tests for COVID-19 on dead bodies before they are released from hospitals (The State of Telangana versus PL Vishweshwar Rao & ors).

The Telangana government had challenged the High Court's May 26 directive before the Supreme Court, which observed today that the High Court order was premature.

It proceeded to issue notice in the matter and posted the case after two weeks.

The High Court order under challenge was passed by a bench of Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy.

The Bench had also directed the government to inform the Court of the number of guest workers who have returned to the state, how many of them had been tested for COVID-19 and the outcome. Further, the government was asked to provide data on tests conducted on returning guest workers and the upgrading of COVID-hit areas to green zones.

The state government's plea challenging the this order states that the order was primarily based on hearsay evidence and newspaper reports.

"High Court while passing the Impugned Directions was not justified in relying upon the newspaper reports, which in fact are hear-say evidence and do not bear any judicial force and in not appreciating the material evidence and the statistics as were produced by the State."

reads the SLP.

The petition drawn and filed by Advocate S Udaya Kumar Sagar also responded to the High Court's observations regarding low testing rates, pointing out that the ICMR is itself does not have enough testing kits. Thus there was a dip in the tests conducted, it is submitted.

"It is a matter of public record that the ICMR is entrusted with and put in charge of the COVID 19 testing kits, however, it is matter of public knowledge that ICMR itself is struggling to procure sufficient number of testing kits and as such any decision taken by the State and modification/ alteration therein is nothing but the reflection of prevailing hard realities."

says the Telangana government.

The High Court had directed the collectors of Nirmal and Suryapeta districts to furnish detailed reports on the number of guest workers who had returned and the tests performed on them.

The order was on the basis of five PILs filed by PL Vishveshwar Rao, Dr Cheruku Sudhakar, Varun Sankineni, Dr KP Rajender, Gadwal and advocate Naresh Reddy Chinnola from Nirmal. The petitioners had said that the government was not conducting adequate tests for COVID-19.

Read the Petition:

Telangana HC Challenge.pdf
Preview

[READ ORDER]

Telangana HC Covid testing on body stay order.pdf
Preview
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