Plea in HC for CBI probe into deaths of 21 COVID patients at Jaipur Golden Hospital

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New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) A petition has been filed in the Delhi High Court seeking CBI probe into the death of 21 COVID-19 patients at the Jaipur Golden Hospital here on the intervening night of April 23-24, alleging that a committee formed by the Delhi government has come out with an 'erroneous' report that those who died did not suffer suffocation due to lack of oxygen supply.

The plea by the dependent/family members of some of the deceased, contends that the cause of death of the patients was respiratory failure due to insufficient supply of oxygen and not due to comorbidities as stated in a report by the committee. The petition, filed through advocate Utsav Bains, seeks quashing of the committee's report and a direction for a probe by CBI or an independent agency into the deaths 'so that the truth can be brought to light and justice be given to the deceased persons and their families' and they be provided compensation.

The plea alleged that the incident took place 'due to deliberate inaction and failure of the respondents (Centre, Delhi government and the hospital) to provide adequate oxygen to the patients despite knowing that any shortage of oxygen supply would lead to their immediate death.

As a result, 'the respondents herein have rendered themselves not only liable to pay compensation to the families of the deceased victims but also for criminal prosecution' for culpable homicide, the plea said.

Referring to the report of the committee, the petition claims that it is 'erroneous' and was prepared to favour the Delhi government and that the finding in it that the deceased were receiving some form of oxygen therapy was made to mislead the court.

'The committee did not examine the issue of demand and supply of oxygen to the Hospital and also has not taken statements by families of victims on record,' it said.

The petitioners also contended that the the hospital did not even inform the family members about the shortage otherwise they would have arranged for at-least high flow oxygen cylinders and this would have saved the life of their loved ones who died as the pressure in the cylinders was low.

'It is submitted that most of the patients (now deceased) were recovering inasmuch as they were regularly informing their family members about improvements in their health. The deceased victims were in constant touch with their family members and were stable,' it said.

It contended that the Centre, Delhi government and the hospital 'were under a legal and moral obligation to ensure no-one dies due to non-supply of oxygen'.

'Therefore, the State is also under legal and moral obligation to provide compensation and sustenance to the families who have lost their family member due to inaction of the respondents and also ensure that those who are responsible for the deaths of patients due to the failure to provide oxygen to patients are brought to justice, no matter, how high, powerful or mighty they are,' the petition said. PTI HMP HMP RKS RKS

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