The Supreme Court has termed the acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) death in Bihar’s Muzaffarpur a ‘grave situation’ which requires immediate attention.
Expressing the displeasure over lackadaisical response by the State Government over the death of more than 150 children due to AES, the apex court said that people have a basic right to medical care, nutrition and hygienic environment.
The Court was hearing a plea filed by an advocate, seeking Court’s interference on worsening situation in Muzaffarpur.
“This public interest litigation relates to outbreak of acute encephalitis syndrome virus that has caused deaths of about 150 children in different districts in the state of Bihar. The writ petition raises issues of grave concern and importance relating to public medical care facilities, nutrition and sanitation or hygiene.
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The Court asked both the Centre and State Government to apprise it about the steps taken to control the disease.
“The respondents will file their response within seven days specifically dealing with the question of public medical care facilities, nutrition and sanitation or hygiene. List the writ petition after 10 days,” the bench said.
A petition was filed by Manohar Pratap, who said he was traumatized by recent death in Bihar where mostly children were at receiving end.
“The deaths of children are a direct result of negligence and inaction on the part of the respective state governments of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Union of India in handling the epidemical situation which arises every year due to outbreak of AES also called Japanese encephalitis,” the plea said.