HC intervenes after hospital refuses to release victim’s body

Justice T. Vinod Kumar of Telangana High Court on Monday directed Hyderabad police to ensure the body of an ex-army man Ram Kumar Sharma, who died at Sunshine Hospital while undergoing treatment for COVID-19, was handed over to his family members immediately.

The ex-army man’s family members moved the High Court stating that hospital management raised a bill of ₹8.68 lakh for his treatment and was refusing to give them the body even after they paid nearly ₹4 lakh.

The bereaved ffiamily led a writ petition in the HC on Monday by moving a house motion, since it was a holiday for the court on account of Raksha Bandhan.

The petition was heard by Justice T. Vinod Kumar around 1 p.m. A team of lawyers comprising Pratap Narayan Sanghi, Avadesh Narayan Sanghi, Anusha Sanghi and Himangini Sanghi presented arguments before the judge.

They informed the court that Mr. Sharma was admitted to hospital on July 24 and he died of the novel coronavirus while undergoing treatment around 4.40 p.m. on Sunday.

The hospital staff told the patient’s family members that the total bill for his treatment was ₹8.68 lakh. By then, the patient’s family had already paid close to ₹4 lakh. According to the petitioners, the hospital management declined to give them the body unless the balance amount of ₹4 lakh from the total bill was paid.

After hearing the matter, the judge instructed Ramagopalpet police station inspector to immediately take steps for the release of the body from the hospital. The body should be handed over to Mr. Sharma’s son Naveen Kumar for performing last rites, the court said.

The HC impleaded suo moto the Central government in the petition. It directed the Central government and the Director of Medical and Health Services of State government to examine the bills raised by the hospital in the case. If the bills were found to be in excess, the governments should take serious action against the hospital, the judge said.

The matter was posted to hearing on September 11.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 8:36:43 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/hc-intervenes-after-hospital-refuses-to-release-victims-body/article32263167.ece

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