New Delhi: Supreme Court on Friday took strong exception of Delhi Health Minister’s allegation that officials were not cooperating and taking responsibility to check vector-borne disease like dengue and chikungunya in the national capital and asked him to give names and evidence of those officials by October 3.
“You have made a serious allegation in your affidavit. Who are the officials disobeying you? People in Delhi are suffering from dengue and chikungunya. You cannot treat them like this,” a bench headed by Justices M B Lokur said.
An affidavit filed by Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain in response to notices issued to Delhi government on a PIL which was taken suo motu cognisance of by the apex court said officials have not been cooperating to curb the diseases.
Jain, in the affidavit, has said that officials were not taking responsibility and all files pertaining to diseases like dengue and chikungunya were being sent to LG for clearance.
On September 26, the apex court had sought response from Delhi government on steps being taken to check vector-borne diseases dengue and chikungunya in the national capital.
“Give the names and evidences of the officials who have been disobeying by Monday. It is a serious matter,” the bench told the counsel appearing for Delhi government.
The counsel sought some time to file the names and evidences and said he would file the names of officials who were not cooperating in a sealed cover.
To this, the bench said “since you have made the allegation on affidavit, the names and evidences of officials should not be filed in sealed cover”.
Senior advocate Ajit Sinha appearing for Lieutenant Governor refuted the charge that officials were not cooperating to fight the diseases as alleged by the Delhi Health Minister.
On September 26, Centre told the apex court that it was the duty of Delhi government to ensure that the national capital remained clean and free from diseases like chikungunya and dengue.
The apex court had sought response from Delhi government on a suo motu plea relating to the death of a 7-year-old boy in the city due to dengue after allegedly being denied treatment by five private hospitals and subsequent suicide by his parents.
The court had last year taken suo motu notice of the matter after a couple — Laxmichandra and Babita Rout, both natives of Odisha, committed suicide by jumping from a four-storeyed building in South Delhi’s Lado Sarai after their only son Avinash died of suspected dengue.
Five hospitals — Max hospital in Saket, Moolchand Khairatiram Hospital in Lajpat Nagar, Aakash Hospital in Malviya Nagar, Saket City Hospital and Irene Hospital, Kalkaji, were issued show cause notices to explain why their registration should not be cancelled for allegedly refusing to admit the boy.
Over 2,600 Chikungunya cases have been reported in Delhi till September 17 and the disease has caused more than 15 deaths so far. Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes, causing high fever and severe joint pain.