Skip to main content

'Concerned' citizens object to change in Gujarat HC bench hearing Covid-19 cases

By Our Representative
In a representation to Gujarat Chief Justice Vikramnath Singh, senior advocates, scholars and activists have come together to express their “serious concern” over his decision to replace the High Court bench comprising Justices JB Pardiwala and IJ Vora with a new bench comprising himself and Justice JB Pardiwala. Justices Pardiwala and Vora had passed strong strictures on the state BJP government for its “inept” handling of the Covid-19 crisis.
Endorsed by about 60 “concerned citizens”, the representation says, “In the context of the suo moto and matters (PILs and applications) related to the Gujarat government's response to Covid-19 situation in the state, we would like to express our disappointment and serious concern regarding your decision to change the bench seized of the matter.”
The signatories include advocates Anand Yagnik and Shamshad Pathan, scholars Prof Ghanshyam Shah, Prof Raghu Rangarajan, Prof Ankur Sareen and Prof Svati Joshi, former National Institute of Design director Ashok Chatterjee, activists Nirjhari Sinha, Indukumar Jani and Prasad Chacko, and Ahmedabad’s top VS Hospital independent trustee Rupa Chinai.
They tell the Chief Justice, “While we fully recognize and accept your power to do so as the master of the roster, we feel that this decision would break the continuity of the hearings and the significant directions that the court has been issuing to the government.”
Requesting him to reconsider his to reconsider decision to alter the composition of the bench in order to “retain the same bench in the interest of continuity and efficiency, till this matter is fully and finally disposed off”, the signatories say, “This would ensure an unbroken thread of hearings and passing of relevant directions.”
On May 11, the bench comprising Justices Pardiwala and Vora took suo moto cognizance of the issue of migrants in Gujarat, and clubbed it along with the matters pertaining to Covid-19 control. Ever since it had been hearing the matter along with PILs filed on the issue.
On May 22, the bench criticized pathetic conditions in the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, expressing alarm over the high morbidity rate of the Covid-19 patients. It said that the condition of the hospital was "pathetic" and it was "as good a dungeon".
The court wondered if the Gujarat government was aware that the lack of adequate number of ventilators was the cause of high mortality of patients. "Is the state government aware of the hard fact that the patients at the Civil Hospital are dying because of lack of adequate number of ventilators? How does the state government propose to tackle this problem of ventilators?", the bench asked.
The bench had criticized pathetic conditions in Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, its conditions were pathetic and it was as good a dungeon
"It is very distressing to note that most of the patients in the Civil Hospital are dying after four days or more of the treatment. This indicates complete lack of critical care", the court said, urging the state government to increase the number of Covid-19 tests, discarding the submission made by the Advocate General that more Covid-19 tests would mean 70% of the population turning positive, leading to a "fear psychosis".
Later, the state government filed an application stating that the court’s strictures would shake the confidence of common man in the hospital, and would demoralize the medical staff. Claiming that steps had been taken to improve the conditions, the government urged the court to "make few suitable observation so as to inspire confidence in the mind of a common man".
However, taking up the matter on May 25, the court said, it was too early to give certificate as regards Civil Hospital, insisting that an independent committee should inquire into the contents of an anonymous letter sent by a resident doctor of the Civil Hospital regarding the state of affairs there. The bench also said that it might do surprise visits to the hospital.
"We sound a note of caution. The superintendent of the Civil Hospital and other authorities of the Health Department of Gujarat shall keep themselves ready to find our presence one fine morning on a given day in the Civil Hospital. This would put an end to all the controversies with regard to the functioning of the Civil Hospital at Ahmedabad", the bench ordered.
---
Click here for list of  "concerned" citizens

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur*
Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.

Agricultural reform? Small farmers will be more vulnerable, corporates to 'fix' price

By Dibyendu Chaudhuri*
Agriculture employs 42% of the total work force whereas it contributes only 16% to the country’s GDP. The average annual growth rate in agriculture has remained static to 2.9% since the last six years. This means that the post-green revolution conventional agriculture has reached its peak. Responsiveness of soil fertility to fertiliser application, an indicator of stagnancy in agriculture, shows declining trend since 1970. The worst sufferer has been the small and marginal farmers who constitute 86% of total farmers.