Courts Update Drastic step needed to control the spread of COVID-19:...

Drastic step needed to control the spread of COVID-19: Patna HC

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Patna, May 5 (ILNS) The Patna High Court, while dealing with a plea concerning COVID management in the state of Bihar,  held if some drastic step is not taken, the situation in the State of Bihar, arising out of the COVID crisis, is likely to deteriorate to immeasurable proportions.

This order was yesterday given by a Division Bench of Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh and Justice Mohit Kumar Shah,  while hearing a Petition.

“The Court records, at this stage, total dissatisfaction over the progress made by the Health Department, Government of Bihar on many fronts in fighting COVID crises. Illustratively, it would be evident from our order dated April 23, 2021 that we were assured on behalf of the State of Bihar that 60 oxygen beds were available in ESIC Hospital, Bihta, which were in the process of being enhanced to 500 beds. In our previous order dated May 03, 2021 we have recorded that the State Government has not been able to ensure proper utilization of even 60 oxygen beds, let alone, enhancing the number of beds, primarily because of non -supply of medicines,” the Court observed.

Lalit Kishore, Advocate General has informed the Court that the Executive Director, Bihar Health Society has been directed on May 03, 2021 to make available fund to the tune of Rs. 50 lakhs to the District Magistrate-cum- Chairman, District Health Society, Patna, for supplying the said drugs/ medicines,. Undeniably thus, so far there was no supply of medicines in the facility at ESIC, Hospital, Bihta.

At this stage, in our opinion, if some drastic step is not taken, the situation in the State of Bihar, arising out of COVID crisis, which has already gone beyond control, is likely to deteriorate to immeasurable proportions, the Court said.

The Court will be failing in its duty if necessary orders are not passed befitting the present situation, in the larger public interest, to ensure protection of right to life of the people in the State of Bihar.

Lalit Kishore, Advocate General, has submitted that before any order is passed by the Court, the State of Bihar may be given an opportunity to file affidavit, as, according to him, the State Government has successfully met the challenge arising out of COVID-19 crisis, has done the best which could have been done and there has been substantial increase in the healthcare facilities and COVID beds to facilitate treatment of the COVID patients.

The Court stated that,

“Let an affidavit be filed on behalf of the State of Bihar by April 06, 2021 at 10.30 a.m., a copy of which must be communicated in the evening of April 05, 2021. The State of Bihar shall be obliged to keep in mind various facts emerging from the orders passed by the Court from time to time in this matter, while filing the Counter Affidavit”.

K.N. Singh, Additional Solicitor General for India has also been directed to seek instructions in the light of the Court’s proceedings so that the Court may pass appropriate orders on May 06, 2021.

The bench refrain from issuing any direction, despite the fact that in spite of repeated directions issued by the Court, in the Court’s opinion, most of them have remained on paper and have not been complied with, awaiting the response of the State Government.

“This is to be noted at this juncture that in the midst of today’s proceeding, Lalit Kishore has informed the Court that a lockdown has been imposed till April 15, 2021 in the State of Bihar,” the order said. ILNS/AP/RJ

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