Delhi High Court has suggested that the Death Audit Committee and Delhi government should publish the data supplied by the government and private hospitals in the national capital only after proper analysis.
A division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Prateek Jalan also suggested that the data should be maintained properly by the Death Audit Committee of experts and by the Government of NCT Delhi.
"We expect from the Death Audit Committee and the respondents that they will publish the data only after proper analysis of the data supplied by the Central Government-run hospitals, Delhi government-run hospitals and private hospitals in Delhi," the court said in an order.
The court also suggested the petitioner that if necessary, the petitioner may agitate its grievances at a subsequent stage with proper supporting material.
With these observations, the court disposed of the petition filed by All India Lawyer's Union through advocate Fidel Sebastian.
The court was hearing a petition claiming that Delhi government was deliberately underplaying the extent of the pandemic resulting from the COVID virus by, amongst other things, establishing a committee which screens reports from hospitals treating COVID patients.
The court noted that the whole case of the petitioner is based upon presumptions and surmises as the same has been filed on the basis of newspaper reports without any proper research.
It further appeared that on the basis of the guidelines issued by the Central government, the data is being collected from the hospitals in a proper format, the court said.
"It also appears that the respondents have constituted a Death Audit Committee on 20th April, 2020 for auditing the data in question received from different hospitals in Delhi and thereafter publish the same, as stated hereinabove. There is no doubt that the members of the Committee are experts in their subject and field," the court said.
It said that there seems to be no arbitrariness or discrimination being done nor is there are any material to show false fabrication of data in question being published by the respondents.
Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra said that the data relating to COVID-19 deaths have to be reported by all Central government-run hospitals, Delhi government run hospitals and private gospitals in Delhi in a tabular form.
On the basis of this data and also looking at the guidelines issued by the Centre, Death Audit Committee is publishing the figure of deaths occurred due to COVID-19, Mehra said.
"Thus, the Death Audit Committee has been following the said guidelines of the Central government in full letter and spirit and no arbitrariness or discrimination is being done by the respondents while publishing the data in question," Mehra said asking the court not to entertain the petition at this stage. (ANI)