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HC orders for detailed report from Punjab govt after sons allege father was alive after body swap amid coronavirus outbreak

The woman's family cremated the body they had received without checking. However, the man's family was shocked when they saw that the body handed over to them was not of their father but a woman.

Amidst the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, several cases of administrative negligence have come to light. Two brothers have now reportedly moved the Punjab and Harayana High Court after they were handed the corpse of a 37-year-old woman instead of their 92-year-old father for cremation. As per the report, Gurcharanjit Singh and his brother alleged that their father was alive and was being treated at the same Guru Nanak Dev Hospital as that of the woman in Amritsar.

The woman’s family cremated the body they had received without checking. However, the man’s family was shocked when they saw that the body handed over to them was not of their father but a woman.

Justice Vivek Puri asked the Counsel appearing for the State to authenticate the details of the case and file a detailed response in the matter. He has also issued notices to the State and other respondents. The High Court was then adjourned till July 22. Reportedly, the father of the petitioners, Pritam Singh, was diagnosed with the Wuhan Coronavirus on July 1. He was then shifted to an isolation ward at Rayat Bahra University in Hoshiarpur before being admitted to Guru Nanak Dev Hospital on July 5.

As per the report, the petitioners received a message on July 18 that their father had passed away the previous day at 11 pm. The duo was handed the body of the deceased via an ambulance at Mukerian. However, they later discovered that the dead body belonged to a woman when they uncovered the body bag.

Administrative negligence by hospital

The petitioners informed the Court that the body of the woman was shifted to a morgue in Mukerian. They were hopeful that their father was alive and being treated at the said hospital. Their counsel emphasised that it was a part of the standard operating procedure (SOP) to show the face of the patient prior to performing the last rites. ADC Himanshu Agarwal has informed that he has learnt about the incident and has sought authentication from the hospital administration.

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