A division bench of Justices R Kirubakaran and VM Velumani made the observation on Friday while hearing a habeas corpus plea moved by the missing man’s son seeking to produce his father.
The Corporation Commissioner had submitted that the civic body’s role was limited to identifying a person affected with COVID-19 in fever camps and sending them to hospitals on ambulances. After that, the patient is under the custody of the Health Department, the official said.
However, the submission added that Corporation authorities along with the family members and police were in the process of ascertaining the whereabouts of the missing man. To this, the bench led by Justice Kirubakaran raised a series of questions pertaining to the coordination between Corporation and Health Department and whether any record was being maintained about the transport of patients to hospitals.
Following assurance from the counsel appearing for the Corporation that there was ample coordination between the Corporation and Health Department, and that he would submit the records of how the patients were handled, the bench posted the case for further hearing after a week.
KS Adikesavan of Alandur stayed with his wife and mother in Alandur, while his son Manivannan stayed two streets away with his family. On June 6, Adikesavan’s mother died, and soon after the funeral he had severe cough. Manivannan took his father to the nearby testing centre on June 9 and was told the next evening that he had the infection.
On June 11 morning, a sanitary inspector took him to the screening centre in Guindy on an ambulance for preliminary checkup for diabetes and blood pressure after which he was to be referred to Government Kilpauk Medical College Hospital.
As Adikesavan did not have a phone, the sanitary inspector tried to check with another COVID patient who was on the same ambulance. She was reportedly told that he was admitted to the hospital.
But when Manivannan went to the hospital on June 14, he was told that nobody by the name of Adikesavan was admitted there. He approached St Thomas Mount police and then to Kilpauk police station where a complaint lodged.