Dengue: HC asks authorities to explain steps taken

RSTV Bureau

dengueThe Delhi High Court raised concern over the rising number of dengue cases in Delhi on Thursday. The High Court has asked the Centre, Delhi government, Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the New Delhi Municipal Corporations (NDMC) to list out the steps taken by them to check the spread of the disease. Dengue has already claimed 14 lives and affected nearly 1900 people in the national capital region.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath called the dengue menace a serious issue, and directed the Centre, Delhi government, MCD and NDMC to file a short affidavit before September 24.

The court, however, did not order an FIR against the directors of hospitals which denied treatment to a seven-year-old boy in Delhi. The toddler died of dengue and his grieving parents committed suicide after the child’s death.

The plea seeking an FIR on the directors of the hospitals was filed by a law student named Gauri Grover. In her plea, she had asked that a FIR be registered in the case because the boy had died due to the hospitals’ callousness.

The petition says that the suicide note left by the parents “clearly establishes that they were prompted to commit suicide due to the callous attitude of hospital authorities which led to death of their only son” and that “the act of the hospital authorities clearly falls under section 306 (abetment of suicide) of Indian Penal Code”.

The petition also said that the Centre and the Delhi government must declare dengue an epidemic and that necessary directions must be issued so that no hospital refuses to admit dengue patients.

However, the court rapped the petitioner and asked her counsel to produce additional documents that show specific negligence on the part of the hospitals. The judges said the petitioner should have done more research in the matter as other writ petitions have already been filed in the case.

Meanwhile, Delhi government’s counsel Rahul Mehra informed the court that the AAP government has taken adequate steps to treat dengue patients and are also in the process of increasing the number of beds in private hospitals in Delhi.

(With inputs from PTI)