KATHMANDU, June 9 : The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday ordered the government not to disclose the identity of the patients of coronavirus (COVID-19) without the consent of the patient and their immediate family members.
A division bench of justices Dr Ananda Monah Bhattarai and Sushmalata Mathema issued the order following preliminary hearings on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocates Saroj Krishna Ghimire and Roshani Paudel.
Stating that the constitution has guaranteed both the right to information and right to privacy, the apex court directed the government authorities — the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Home Affairs — to prevent the disclosure of the names without the consent of the individuals and their families concerned.
The bench also directed the authorities to be serious about the rights of women and children as their rights have been violated during the lockdown imposed by the government to fight the deadly virus.
The bench also directed the rights bodies to be serious on the rights of the women as the helpline of National Human Rights Commission has not been effective. It also directed the government to ensure vaccinations to the children as required on the basis of their ages.
The bench also directed the government authorities to arrange separate quarantine as well as isolation wards for men and women. Stating that the rights of the women and children have been violated, the petitioners have sought the apex court intervention.