The Advocate General (AG) Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that substantial progress has been made in terms of tackling the issue of continued death of children due to malnutrition in tribal areas. A division bench, headed by Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, was hearing Public Interest Litigations (PIL), highlighting the rising cases of malnutrition-related deaths and illnesses among those living in Melghat region of Vidarbha and other tribal areas in Maharashtra.
“Various posts have been filed. We have made a chart to show compliance of various court orders by the state,” said the AG, A Kumbhakoni. Taking into consideration this statement, the court has now granted two weeks to the state to place on record all details pertaining to this issue. The court reminded the state on the “seriousness” of the issue and asked the government “to do something” to improve the situation. The Chief Justice has ordered that all the PILs pertaining to this issue be transferred to a special bench to ensure better monitoring by the court.
The special bench, led by Justice Mridula Bhatkar of the Bombay High Court, will now issue necessary directions in these cases. In the last hearing, the court had pulled up the government for the continued deaths of children owing to malnutrition, questioning if the schemes implemented by the state to improve the situation were achieving its purpose and reaching the tribal areas.
It had further reprimanded the state for boasting about various measures introduced by the government, stating that if such measures had been implemented properly it would have prevented malnutrition- related deaths in tribal areas. The petitioner had been asked to segregate the issues priority-wise. The petitioner on Wednesday informed the court that it had complied with the orders and was asked to place the same before the special bench during the next hearing on November 29.