Image: Vijay Pandey / SabrangIndia
At the outset, the court expressed total dissatisfaction over the progress made by the Health Department, Bihar in fighting the Covid crisis. The court pointed the many orders passed by the court since April 15, and opined that if some drastic step is not taken, the situation in Bihar which has already gone beyond control, is likely to deteriorate to immeasurable proportions.
“This 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,” the court stated. The court pointed out that on April 23, the government had assured the court that 60 oxygen beds at ESIC Hospital, Bihta were being enhanced to 500 beds. However, on May 3 the court was informed that the State Government has not been able to ensure proper utilisation of even 60 oxygen beds, let alone enhancing the number of beds.
The court has granted time until May 6 for the state to file an affidavit as Advocate General Lalit Kishore submitted that the state be given an opportunity to inform the court how it has done its best in tackling the Covid crisis. The court stated that the State shall keep in mind various facts emerging from the orders passed by this Court from time to time in this matter, while filing the counter affidavit.
“We refrain from issuing any direction today, despite the fact that in spite of repeated directions issued by this 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,” the court stated.
The case will now be taken up on May 6.
The order may be read here: