HC Rap: GOI’s Tardiness in Making Hospital for Bhopal Gas Survivors Functional


In a sharp and succinct order passed on February 15, a division bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has sharply pulled up the Indian government for its unconcern and tardiness in appointment of doctors and staff to the hospital set up for the permamnent care and rehabilitation of Survivors of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy.
In Writ petition 15658-2012 filed by the Bhopal Gas Peedith Mahila Udyog Sanghatan versus Union of India, acting chief justice, Rajendra Menon and Anjuli Palo passed strong orders and posted the matter for March 15, 2017. The court moreoever came down heavily on the government for seeking a year’s time to formulate the rules and said that a month was enough.
The Court, in response to activist Jayprakash’s arguments has also commented adversely on the fact that the central government has done little to implement the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee and bring the Hospital under the administrative and finance control of the government of India. A copy of the 9th Quarterly Report of the Monitoring Committee was made available to the Survivors by the Court.
The Order may be read here:
“This matter is pending since 2012. We are constrained to note that even after repeated adjournments being granted and dates being fixed since more than a year, that is from 10.2.2016, Union of India has not come out with the Rules for appointment of Doctors and Staff to the Institute in question that is the BMHRC.

The Rules pertaining to Appointment of Nurses have been finalized andthe Nurses Association has given an application before this Court to say that they accept the Rules in toto and agree for Notification of the Rules; to proceed to finalize the same and to take steps for filling up of the vacancies, and regulating the terms and conditions of the service of the Nurses.

Inspite thereof, nothing has been done in the matter of finalization of these Rules.That apart, for the purpose of formulating the Rules for appointment of Doctors, Specialists and other Staff members, except for contending that the Draft Rules have been notified on the Website of the Department and objections are invited, no concrete steps have been taken for finalization of the Rules; and, an assertion is made in the counter affidavit submitted that it would take atleast a year’s time to
finalize the Rules and thereafter to make appointments in pursuance to the Rules.

We are surprised that for formulating Rules of Appointment under Article 309 of the Constitution or the Statute, for a Hospital, the Unionof India requires a year’s time. In our considered view, such a Rule, after consultation with all stake holders, can be formulated within a period of 30 days and for the said purpose granting a year’s time is not called for.

Once Rules are finalized, it should not take more than three monthstime to complete the process of advertisement; calling for applications; conducting the interview process and thereafter for making appointments; and, taking note of all these factors, we are satisfied that the Union of India is delaying the matter and is not taking proper steps for formulation of Rules and taking steps for recruitment of Doctors and other staffs for manning the hospital. That apart, we have also taken note of the 9th Quarterly Report and recommendations submitted by the Monitoring Committee headed by Justice (Retd) Shri V.K. Agrawal, and we find that various recommendations made by the said Committee, particularly the recommendations pertaining to Computerization of Gas Rahat Hospitals and the BMHRC; Framing of Service Rules as already indicated hereinabove; Common Referral System; Development of Infrastructure in the matter of providing Equipments and Gadgets such
as Ventilators, CT Scan etc; Prompt Release of Funds for purchase of Equipments; and, various other aspects indicated in the Monitoring Committee’s Report, which includes the Renewal of AMC of the Medical Equipments in the Hospital, have not been addressed to and nothing has been said by the Union of India in the matter.
That apart, Shri Jayaprakash made a serious objection to say that inspite of recommendations made by BMHRC, Union of India has not taken any steps for bringing the Hospital under their administrative control, to monitor its functions and make it a Hospital functioning under the administrative and financial control of Union of India.
We find that the Ministry concerned in the Union of India, namely the Health Research and Family Welfare, has not taken adequate steps for implementing the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee, as contained in its 9th Quarterly Report, particularly with regard to recruitment and various other aspects as detailed hereinabove.
The time limit sought for to complete the process by one year, in our considered view is very much on the higher side and we cannot grant more than three months time to the Union of India the complete the entire process, and to implement the recommendations of the Monitoring Committee, as are indicated its 9th Quarterly Report.
Accordingly, we direct for forwarding a copy of this order through the Assistant Solicitor General to the Secretary, in the Ministry of Health Research and Family Welfare, and direct the Incharge of the Department concerned to file an affidavit before us within 15 days, indicating what steps he proposes to take to implement the directions as are indicated hereinabove; and, to submit a Report to this with regard to the same.”



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