Supreme Court raps Bihar government over encephalitis deaths, directs it to file affidavit within 7 days



The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Bihar government over rising number encephalitis deaths in the state. The top court asked the state to file an affidavit within seven days, detailing the steps taken to check the deaths of children. It also directed the state to include details on the adequacy of medical facilities, nutrition and sanitation and the hygiene conditions. The state government said that it has been able to control the disease and assured the top court that all possible steps are being taken to provide proper medication to the affects kids. During the hearing, one of the lawyers informed the court that similar deaths had occurred earlier in Uttar Pradesh. The court took note of it and directed the state government to file its response as well. A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and BR Gavai also issued notices to the Centre and Uttar Pradesh, asking them to file affidavits about facilities dealing with public health, nutrition and sanitation, for treatment of children suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Muzaffarpur. The matter has been posted for hearing after 10 days. Bihars Muzaffarpur has reported over 150 deaths of children due to AES so far. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi have been evading the media from answering tough questions. PM Narendra Modi has also not spoken a single word over the crisis so far. Meanwhile, Muzaffarpur Chief Judicial Magistrate Suryakant Tiwari has ordered a probe against Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey in a case of negligence registered against them. The case was filed againt them by social activist Tamanna Hashmi CJMs court. Hashmi said that he has filed the case against them under Sections 323, 308 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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