Top Court Seeks Status Of Hospital To Be Built With Fine In Uphaar Case

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Supreme Court Seeks Status Of Hospital To Be Built With Fine In Uphaar Case

The Supreme Court also took exception to the reply filed by Delhi government

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Friday sought to know from Delhi government about the status of construction of second trauma Centre at Dwarka in Delhi out of Rs 60 crores deposited as fine by real estate barons Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal, convicted for negligence in 1997 Uphaar theatre fire tragedy case.

A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M R Shah asked additional solicitor general Sanjay Jain, appearing for Delhi government, "What happened to that trauma Centre? There is already one trauma Centre. It is working well for COVID-19 patients".

The bench asked Sanjay Jain, "if that trauma Centre is not constructed till now then who should be held accountable".

Sanjay Jain said that he needs to seek instructions in this regard.

The bench noted in its order, "A question was posed to Sanjay Jain, Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Delhi government about the status of construction of second trauma centre at Dwarka out of Rupees Sixty Crores deposited as a fine by the Ansal Brothers in Uphaar Cinema fire tragedy case...Sanjay Jain submitted that he will get back on this on the next date of hearing".

It posted the matter for further hearing in the third week of July.

The Top court had in August 2015 allowed the real estate barons Sushil Ansal and Gopal Ansal to walk free and asked them to pay a fine of Rs 30 crore each, which shall be used for setting up second trauma Centre at Dwarka.

On June 13, 1997, halfway through the screening of Hindi film "Border", a fire broke out in Uphaar Cinema, which was owned by Ansals and situated in Green Park area here. Fifty-nine people had died of asphyxia, while over 100 others were injured in the ensuing stampede.

The top court also took exception to the reply filed by Delhi government and said, apart from general statement that all steps are being taken, the affidavit does not indicate any mechanism for proper supervision of the functioning of the hospital and steps for improvement.

"The affidavit tries to give an impression to the Court that everything in the Government hospital in NCT, Delhi is well, and all steps are being taken by the Government of NCT of Delhi. When the Government does not endeavour to know any shortcomings or lapses in its hospitals and patient care, the chances of remedial action and improvement becomes dim," the bench said.

It said, "every organisation, every individual should be more than ready to know about shortcomings, lapses and it is only after knowing one''s shortcomings and deficiencies, remedial actions can be taken".

"We impress upon Government of NCT of Delhi to be more vigilant in knowing about the deficiency and lapses in the functioning of the hospitals and patients care and take immediate and remedial steps to redeem the miseries of patients, the public who needs medical care and help," it said.

The bench issued a slew of directions for care of COVID-19 patients and bringing uniformity in the treatment costs across the country in the matter taken suo motu cognizance. It took exception about the Maharashtra government circular, which said that a positive report of the patient shall not be given to the patient or the relatives of the patient.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Centre said that this kind of circular should not have been passed and added that when a report of the patient is positive, the same shall be given to the patient or his relatives.

"We have no doubt that the States and all concerned shall supply a copy of the report of the patient to him or his relatives and the hospital," the bench said. Standing counsel Sachin Patil, appearing for Maharashtra government said that he shall be allowed to obtain instructions regarding non-giving of the report to the patient or his relatives.

He said that he would advise the State to issue an appropriate order permitting handing of the report to the patient or his relatives and the hospital.

The bench appreciated the Maharashtra government for its initiative to cap the price of testing from Rs 2200 to Rs 2800 and said it would help in stepping up the number of testing in the state.

Sachin Patil said that Rs 2200 is charged when swabs are given directly to the lab and Rs 2,800 is charged when swabs are collected from the home and submitted that more than 16,000 tests are conducted on daily basis in the state. 

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