SC Collegium approves elevation of six judicial officers as judges of Madhya Pradesh High Court

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday took a dig on authorities for taking strong note of critical media reportage on COVID-19 related issues quipping whether a sedition case has been lodged against a news channel for showing a body being thrown into a river.

“We saw a picture of a body being thrown in river. I do not know whether a sedition case has been filed against the news channel for showing that,” quipped Justice D Y Chandrachud when the issue of dignified handling of bodies of victims of the deadly virus was raised before a bench headed by him.

The apex court had earlier taken strong note of registration of criminal cases against those who sought help for COVID-19 related problems on social media and were critical of government’s handling of the pandemic.

The top court, which was hearing a suo motu case related to supply of essential medicines, vaccines and medical oxygen to patients of COVID-19, made the remarks when senior advocate and amicus curiae Meenakshi Arora raised the issue of dignified handling of bodies of victims of the deadly virus.

“While crematoriums and burials are state subjects, we have seen that there is no dignity in death. It is unfortunate that we have large number of crematoriums which are not functioning,” said Arora, who is assisting the special bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat.

Besides the fear of spread of the deadly virus, the issue was the poor people are unable to dispose of the dead as they find the rituals “expensive,” she said.