Supreme Court Justice Yasantha Kodagoda today recused himself from hearing the Fundamental Rights petition filed by the parents of a 20-day-old infant who died after being infected with COVID-19.

Justice Kodagoda declined to sit on the bench as his father had served as a Medical doctor.

Accordingly, the petition was re-fixed, to be taken up before a fuller bench comprising five Supreme Court Judges, on May 25.

On January 22, the Supreme Court Justice A.H.M.D. Nawaz had also recused himself from hearing this petition, citing personal reasons.

Today’s Supreme Court bench comprised Justices Priyantha Jayawardena, L.T.B. Dehideniya, Yasantha Kodagoda and Kumuduni Wickremasinghe.

The petitioners are seeking an order directing the health authorities to produce all medical records on the hospitalization, death and disposal of the dead body of the infant child of the Petitioners.

They are also seeking an order to appoint a committee of experts to review the regulations and procedure about the disposal and cremation of bodies of persons deceased by the Covid-19 virus.

The petitioners (parents) Mohomed Farook Mohomed Fahim and Fathima Shafnaz have named the Director-General of Health Services, the Director of the Lady Ridgeway Hospital for Children, the Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, Ministry Secretary and several others as respondents.

The petitioners stated that they were not provided with any documentary evidence to clarify that their newborn child had tested positive for COVID-19.

The petitioners allege that the body of the child was cremated against the wishes of the parents violating their Fundamental Rights.


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