Gauhati HC issues notices to Centre, Assam govt over ‘harassment’ meted out to non-COVID patients


Guwahati: The Gauhati High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the Centre and the Assam government over alleged denial of proper treatment to non-COVID patients in hospitals across the state.

Hearing PIL by the Leader of Opposition of Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia, a division bench comprising Chief Justice (Acting) N Kotiswar Singh and Justice Manish Choudhury asked the respondents to reply within three weeks.

The court noted that the petitioner has filed an “additional affidavit giving instances where proper treatment has been denied to the non-COVID patients on the ground of pre-occupation with the COVID patients though these patients would require earlier attention of the hospitals”.

The PIL was filed on August 14, making the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Assam Government and the state”s Health and Family Welfare Department as respondents.

In his petition, Saikia said many patients have suffered harassment or even died as a result of insistence by various hospitals of Assam for production of COVID-19 certificates, even in cases requiring emergency treatment.

He claimed that many road accident victims died, besides those due to heart ailments, in recent months, because of the “unfair policy” adopted by various hospitals.

The PIL also stated that many pregnant women have suffered owing to the demand for documentary proof of being COVID-free. PTI