The Delhi High Court has directed for the immediate inspection of the facilities in AIIMS provided after that 22 persons residing in the night shelters tested positive for COVID19.
The Division Bench comprising of Justice VipinSanghi and Justice RajnishBhatnagar decided the same after they observed discrepancies between the state of affairs as described by the Petitioner and the government authority in their respective status reports.
The order has come in a PIL seeking proper and adequate facilities for patients residing in the night shelters of AIIMS.
The court directed,
‘Mr. Sharma, Director, DUSIB, should ensure that the representative of DUSIB is also present. Others concerned may join the proceeding. The inspection shall be conducted today at 12:30 P.M. itself.
No further notice shall be required to be given and the parties shall not wait for a copy of this order to proceed to carry out the inspection. The entire proceedings shall be video recorded by Mr. Malik. The video recording shall be made available to the other counsels. The statements of those who are occupying the night shelter shall also be recorded – to ascertain the correct factual position.’
Ms Rachna Malik, who was asked to assist the court in the present matter, has also complained about the inadequate water and sanitation facility in these night shelters.
Ms Malik also pointed out that there’s a need to maintain a register to monitor the persons who visit these night shelters every day.
Countering all the observations of Ms. Malik, Mr Parvinder Chauhan, who appeared for the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board submitted that the persons residing in the night shelters have their own kitchen and toilet and hence did not use the facilities provided in VishramSadan.
Mr. Chauhan also submitted that there is already a mechanism to monitor the entry and exit of persons in the night shelters.
The court was also informed by Ms Malik that she had informed the caretaker of the night shelter about the patient who had tested positive for COVID19 but still the mother of that patient wasallowed to leave for her native place. Now even she has tested positive for COVID19.
In its status report, DUSIB submitted to the court that the patients who have been tested positive, have been shifted to two hospitals, namely LokNayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital, that are run by the GNCTD.
While criticising this move, the court observed,
‘Since, the aforesaid two patients and others who were found positive on Covid testing – which are 22 in number, were all occupying the night shelter which falls within the AIIMS premises, we are at loss to understand as to why they were not taken to the AIIMS Covid facility, and why they have been shifted to far off hospitals.’
In light of the above, the court has directed Principal Secretary (Heath) of Delhi Government, Director of DUSIB, and an authorised officer of AIIMS to submit affidavits explaining why the said persons were not accommodated at the Covid facility at AIIMS itself, particularly when the patients werereceiving non-Covid treatment at AIIMS itself.
The court further directed Chief Secretary of Delhi Government to examine the position with regard to the manner in which the night shelter at AIIMS is being managed by DUSIB, and to undertake all corrective measures, as are called for, without any delay
The Petitioner in the present case was represented by Senior Advocate DarpanWadhwa, and Advocates Arjun Syal and ManjiraDasgupta.
The court will now hear the matter on May 17.