The Bombay High Court on Monday slammed the Maharashtra government for not following its orders of facilitating a visit of senior IPS officer Dr Chhering Dorje to Melghat, the tribal belt of the state where children, pregnant and lactating mothers have been dying in large numbers owing to malnutrition.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Dipankar Datta had on a previous hearing ordered IPS officer Dorje to visit Melghat region and inspect the area, the facilities available and also the lack of medical amenities. However, on Monday, the bench was informed that Dorje couldn’t visit the region for inspection.
A letter written by Dorje was furnished before the judges, stating that he couldn’t visit the site as he was given additional work assignments and that he will be able to visit the region only next month.
The bench was irked to note this. “Is this how you (state) follow our orders? On previous hearing, we had specifically said that he (Dorje) shouldn’t be given additional assignments but despite that he was given two additional assignments,” the bench said.
Meanwhile, the judges referred to the affidavit filed by the state, spelling out the causes of deaths of children in the belt. It (affidavit) stated that most deaths were due to pneumonia. It further highlighted how the state has been taking steps to provide better medical facilities for the people living in these areas.
“This all seems to be on paper alone,” the judges slammed the state authorities, adding, “There appears to be lack of coordination between the various departments of the state that are dealing with this case.”
The bench adjourned the matter for further hearing till November 29, when Dorje is likely to submit his report.
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