‘Don’t Shoot the Messenger’: SC To Delhi Govt on FIRs Against Docs

Justice Ashok Bhushan asked the Delhi government to “submit a better affidavit” and listed the matter for 19 June.

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 17 June, made strong observations on the treatment of doctors and healthcare staff by the Delhi government, stating that the “COVID-19 war could not be won if you don’t treat the soldiers well”.

A Supreme Court bench led by Justice Ashok Bhushan was hearing the suo motu plea taking note of the condition of COVID-19 treatment in Delhi, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat.

“Don’t shoot the messengers. You stop registering FIRs against doctors fighting this war against COVID,” the bench reportedly observed, adding that those who had shot videos showing the ground reality of hospitals had faced suspension.

The number of coronavirus cases in India rose by 10,974 to 3,54,065 on Wednesday, while 2,003 new reported fatalities took the death toll to 11,903. The huge spike in the number of deaths comes as states have updated their respective figures.

The state government’s counsel ASG Sanjay Jain has been asked by SC to file a “better affidavit” by Friday when the case will be heard next.

The bench also reportedly took note of ‘suppression of numbers’ and noted that a wrong signal was being sent.

According to PTI, the apex 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”, while hearing a doctor’s PIL questioning a recent government order that stated 14-day quarantine was not mandatory for doctors.

(With inputs from Hindustan Times and PTI)

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