Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Madhya Pradesh High Court, principal bench in Jabalpur has found Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Health and officials of National Informatics Centre (NIC) liable for non-compliance of Supreme Court order in connection with the Bhopal gas tragedy victims.
The SC’s order, dated August 9, 2012, pertains to shortage of super specialties, pending computerization of patients, lack of solid referral system and promotion of medical treatment in Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre(BMHRC) and other attached hospitals.
The high court that the officials are prima facie found guilty of contempt of Apex Court as well as of this (HC) court. The Supreme Court monitoring committee in its report on July 5, 2023, had informed the High Court that even after 11 years of SC order, nothing has been done for its order compliance.
This High Court is compelled to take coercive steps against respondents/proposed contemnors, the judge said. Despite a lapse of more than ten and a half years, officials have demonstrated no urgency or sincerity in complying with directions of Apex Court as well as of this (HC) Court, thereby, leaving the gas victims in the lurch, the court said.
The said officials have tried their level best to render the concept of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) nugatory by dragging their feet in the process of compliance, the court observed, adding that it does not see any good reason behind the laxity on the part of officials except officials’ insensitivity towards gas victims.
Even it has not been complied with to the extent that though the proposal of merger of BMHRC with AIIMS has been made it has not yet been implemented. Though BMHRC has become a teaching institute only DNB Ophthalmology and MD Anaesthesia courses have been started so far.
It is clear that BMHRC has not become a fully functional and operational teaching institute and only a feeble effort in that direction has been made, the court further said.
Besides, it has not been complied to the extent that the referral system of BMHRC as well as hospitals run by Gas Relief and Rehabilitation is not satisfactory and deserves streamlining and strict follow up, said the court.