NHRC notice to the Government of Bihar over Purnia Sadar Hospital not providing a mortuary van to a labourer for the dead body of his wife (12.06.2017)
New Delhi, 12th June, 2017
The National Human Rights Commission has taken suo motu cognizance of a media report that in Bihar, a man had to take the body of his deceased wife on a motor cycle as the authorities at the District Purnia Sadar hospital, where she died, failed to provide him a mortuary van. The Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary, Government of Bihar calling for a report in the matter within four weeks.
The deceased Susheela Devi, 50 year old, died of illness at the Hospital on the 2nd June, 2017. The medical staff told her husband to arrange on his own to carry the body of his wife, when he requested for a vehicle. Reportedly, the man, a poor labourer, approached the driver of an ambulance, who demanded Rs. 2500/-, which he could not afford. Ultimately, with the help of his son, the man had to carry the dead body on a motor cycle holding it as a pillion rider.
The Commission has observed that this is not the first instance which has come to its notice. At several places across the country, such shameful incidents have happened and the Commission has also taken cognizance in some of these cases. It seems that the authorities are lacking on their part in understanding the sensitivity involved in such situations. This amounts to violation of right to life and dignity of the persons and is also indicative of negligence by the hospital administration and lack of proper infrastructure.
According to the media report, carried on 4th June, 2017, the Civil Surgeon of the hospital has stated that no mortuary van is available at the Sadar Hospital and everyone has to arrange it on his own. The District Magistrate has reportedly ordered a probe into the matter.