‘This Is Contempt Of All Orders Passed By Us’: High Court Raps Gujarat Govt. On Bharuch Covid Hospital Fire Incident That Claimed 18 Lives

first_imgTop Stories’This Is Contempt Of All Orders Passed By Us’: High Court Raps Gujarat Govt. On Bharuch Covid Hospital Fire Incident That Claimed 18 Lives Akshita Saxena11 May 2021 8:35 AMShare This – xImage Courtesy: artisanfireThe Gujarat High Court on Tuesday rapped the State authority for its failure to implement judicial orders for maintenance of fire safety norms at all hospitals, to avoid any untoward incident. In view of the recent Bharuch Hospital fire incident that claimed 18 human lives, a Division Bench comprising of Justices Bela Trivedi and Justice Bhargav D Karia said that it is contemptuous on part of State for not being vigilant. “Every action of yours is on paper. You always issue letters through highest authority. But what action is taken by the lower authority pursuant to such higher authority’s order or this Court’s order is not mentioned in State’s affidavit,” Justice Karia said. He added that the Court is primarily concerned with the steps that are being taken to prevent such incidents in the future. “Anxiety of the Court is that what measures are you going to take to prevent such incidents from recurring again? We have issued several orders for maintaining fire safety standards but nothing is happening. This incident amounts to contempt of all the orders passed by this Court in the past,” the Judge said. The Division Bench was hearing an application filed by Advocate Amit M. Panchal, urging the Court to call for a report with respect to Patel Welfare Hospital, where the incident took place during wee hours on May 1. Due to non-compliance of directions issued time and again by the Supreme Court and the Gujarat High Court for maintaining fire safety standards, Panchal submitted that 16 patients and 2 nursing staff lost their lives in the said Covid facility. He stated that just a day before the unfortunate incident, i.e., on April 30, inspection of the hospital in question was conducted and the authorities were well aware that the hospital building did not have a fire NOC. The Court also noted that the affidavit filed by the State Government in response to the matter was vague to the extent it did not mention as to who visited the hospital and who found that the NOC was there or not. At this juncture, Govt Advocate Kamal Trivedi submitted that Covid facility at the Hospital in question was set up surreptitiously, without intimating the authorities. Hence, fire NOC could not be issued by local authorities. “How is it possible? How was a hospital treating Covid patients without State’s knowledge? If this be the case, how is it possible for the State to compile data of (Covid-19) patients who are hospitalised?” Justice Bela asked. The Bench issued notices to the Bharuch Municipality, CDMO Bharuch, the hospital trust and its nodal officer for fire safety. “Someone has to be made accountable,” it remarked. Panchal also insisted that the Justice DA Mehta Commission Report be published in public domain. The Commission inquired into fire incidents at two Gujarat hospitals, one in Rajkot in November 2020 and another in Ahmedabad in August 2020. Trivedi submitted that as per the provisions of the Commission of Inquiry, the report is required to be tabled before the Assembly. “There is no question of keeping the report under carpet or else we should not have appointed a commission,” he said. Case Title: Ahmedabad Medical Association v. State Of Gujarat Click Here To Download Order Read OrderTagsGujarath High Court COVID-19 Hospital Fires Fire Safety NOC Contempt of Court Next Storylast_img read more