Dengue, chikungunya cases rise: If officials not cooperating, show us proof, says SC to govt

SC asked Health Minister Satyendar Jain to file an affidavit naming the officials who allegedly refused to take orders and handicapped the government in tackling the menace.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:October 1, 2016 3:18 am
Patients outside the emergency ward at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Sahil Walia) Patients outside the emergency ward at Government Multi-Specialty Hospital in Sector 16, Chandigarh, on Tuesday. (Express Photo by Sahil Walia)

THE SUPREME Court Friday told the Delhi government that it could not wriggle out of its liability to check vector-borne diseases such as dengue and chikungunya in the national capital, and sought evidence that officials were disobeying their orders.

A bench led by Justice Madan B Lokur asked Health Minister Satyendar Jain to file an affidavit naming the officials who allegedly refused to take orders and handicapped the government in tackling the menace.

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“You have made a serious allegation in your affidavit. Who are the officials disobeying you? People in Delhi are suffering from dengue and chikungunya. You cannot treat them like this,” said the bench, after it noted that Jain’s first affidavit claimed officials were not cooperating.

Jain, in the affidavit, has said officials were not taking responsibility and all files pertaining to dengue and chikungunya were being sent to Lieutenant Governor for clearance — a charge refuted by senior advocate Ajit Sinha, who represented the LG. The Supreme Court took strong exception to Jain’s allegation and asked him to give the names of those officials who were not cooperating along with evidence by October 3. “Give the names and evidences of the officials who have been disobeying by Monday. It is a serious matter,” the bench told senior advocate Paras Kuhad, who appeared for the Delhi government.

Kuhad sought some time to submit the names and evidence, and said he would file the information in a sealed cover. But the bench retorted, “Since you have made the allegation on an affidavit, the names and evidences of officials should not be filed in sealed cover. Give it to us in open court.”

On September 26, the apex court had sought a response from the Delhi government on steps being taken to check the spread of vector-borne diseases in the capital. Last year, the court had taken suo motu notice of the matter after a couple — Laxmichandra and Babita Rout — committed suicide after their son, Avinash, died of suspected dengue. Five private hospitals had allegedly turned away the parents.

Govt to submit affidavit in SC The Delhi government is likely to submit an affidavit in the Supreme Court Monday naming officials who have been “defying” the city administration’s orders with specific instances of non-compliance, it is learnt. Sources said the decision was taken on a day the apex court questioned the city government’s assertion that officials were not cooperating in checking vector-borne diseases.

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