On January 30 2020, India witnessed its first COVID-19 case and then what can be termed as a trail of cases, started arriving every day. Till date, there have been more than 3,000 positive cases of COVID-19 in India of which 86 people have lost their lives. The total number of COVID-19 positive cases in the world stands at 1,118,562 with 59,226 deaths.
China who is being considered to be the origin of this pandemic has been facing backlash from all over the world for hiding the information about this virus from the entire world for the longest time.
The International Court of Justice and the All India Bar Association have now filed a complaint in the United Nations Rights Council against China over the outbreak of COVID-19 and for committing “grave offence against the humanity throughout the world”.
The complainant, Dr. Adish C. Aggarwala, President of the ICJ and chairman of the All India Bar Association accused the Chinese Government of conspiring against the entire world through biological warfare in order to become world’s superpower. He also accused China of gross negligence in dealing with the outbreak.
China has been accused of violating Article 25(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which obligates the Chinese Government to not interfere with the right to health of people. Article 12 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights has been violated by China by not issuing prompt health warnings and its failure to conduct proper mechanism to deal with the epidemic.
Article 6, 7, 9 of the International Health Regulations (IHR) stating that the public authorities must notify the WHO about the existence of a disease of public and international concern within 24 hours of assessment of public health information, has also been violated by the Chinese Government by hiding essential information about the disease from the public as well as WHO. China had repeatedly rejected offers for medical assistance by the WHO.
The complainant further stated the Chinese Government of standing liable under the responsibility of states for Internationally Wrongful Acts, 2001 by way of omission or inaction in dealing with the early days of the outbreak, by failing to act as per the provisions of Article 4 of the Act, and by breach of international obligation requiring a State to prevent a given event.
In light of the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 on the world, the complainant prayed to the UNHRC to enquire and thereby order the Chinese Government to “adequately compensate” the entire international community.