Free Press Journal

SC seeks info on safety measures in sterilisation process


Sterlization, Bilaspur, Chattisgarh

New Delhi: The recent botched sterilisation tragedy in Chhattisgarh that claimed 13 lives today came under scrutiny of the Supreme Court which directed the Centre to apprise it about steps taken to implement its nine-year old directions and guidelines on ensuring safety of patients.

“This court in its judgement in Ramakant Rai Vs Union of India had issued certain directions. Additional Solicitor General submits that all the directions with regard to sterilisation have been complied with.

“However, it is not clear whether the state governments have acted on the directions given by us,” a bench of justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said.

The apex court directed the Centre to prepare a chart indicating stages of implementation in different states within six weeks and posted the matter for April 17. On the issue of providing compensation to the deceased victims of botched sterilisation, the court asked the central government to check with states and file an affidavit on the status of disbursement to victims under the Indemnity Scheme.

It also directed Chhattisgarh to file an affidavit on the deaths in the sterilisation camps in Bilaspur district, the action taken against the doctors involved and steps taken to create mass awareness on the issue of sterilisation.

130 women were admitted to different hospitals after they developed post-operative complications at a sterilisation camp organised by the government, with 13 losing their lives.

The directions came during hearing of a 2012 PIL by Bihar native Devika Biswas, who alleged that in Bihar, sterilisation camps were being conducted under torch light and the general anaesthesia was being administered by untrained workers.

The apex court had earlier directed states to introduce a system of having an approved panel of doctors to limit the number of persons entitled to carry out sterilisation procedures only to those listed on such a panel.