New Delhi: Delhi Health Minister Satyendar Jain was today slapped a fine of Rs 25,000 by the Supreme Court for not disclosing names of officials, accused by him of not cooperating with the AAP government in containing the menace of dengue and chikungunya in the national capital.
“When people are dying in Delhi, you don’t need 24 hours to file an affidavit,” the apex court said as it lashed out at Jain’s counsel who had sought time till tomorrow to file the affidavit containing these names.
“Why have you not given the names and evidences on affidavit? You have made very serious allegations against them. You deposit Rs 25,000 by today as cost for not filing the affidavit with legal service authority,” a bench of Justices M B Lokur and D Y Chandrachud said and listed the matter for tomorrow.
The apex court had on Friday taken strong exception to Jain’s allegation that officials were not cooperating or taking responsibility to check vector-borne diseases in the national capital and had asked him to give names and evidence of such officials by today.
Senior advocate Chirag Uday Singh, appearing for Jain, said he did not get time to file affidavit as the court had given a “short period”. He also said the government was doing everything possible to check vector-borne diseases.
“We deliberately gave you short period of time. It is a very serious matter. People are dying of the disease. You had made allegations against the officials but still you did not file an affidavit. You should have filed it by Saturday,” the bench said.
Singh said the matter be listed tomorrow and sought another 24 hours to file the affidavit, saying the bonafide of the minister should not be questioned.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar sought the court’s permission to file an affidavit on behalf of Delhi health secretary saying certain facts needed to be placed before the bench. The court gave liberty to Kumar to file the affidavit.
An affidavit filed by Jain in response to notices issued to Delhi government on a PIL, which was taken suo motu cognisance of by the apex court, said no official has come forward to take responsibility, even to file an affidavit on the measures taken to curb dengue and chikungunya.
Jain, in his affidavit, had alleged that officials were not taking responsibility and all files pertaining to diseases like dengue and chikungunya were being sent to the Lieteuant Governor for clearance.
Jain had filed the affidavit after the apex court on
September 26 had sought response from Delhi government on the steps being taken to check vector-borne diseases.
The Centre had told the apex court that it was the duty of Delhi government to ensure that the national capital remained clean and free from diseases like chikungunya and dengue.
The apex court had suo motu taken cognizance of the death of a 7-year-old boy due to dengue last year after being allegedly denied treatment by five private hospitals and subsequent suicide by his parents, and sought response from Delhi government.
The apex court had last year taken suo motu cognizance of the matter after the couple — Laxmichandra and Babita Rout, both natives of Odisha, committed suicide by jumping from a four-storeyed building in South Delhi’s Lado Sarai after their only son Avinash died of suspected dengue.
Five hospitals — Max hospital in Saket, Moolchand Khairatiram Hospital in Lajpat Nagar, Aakash Hospital in Malviya Nagar, Saket City Hospital and Irene Hospital, Kalkaji, were issued show cause notices to explain why their registration should not be cancelled for allegedly refusing to admit the boy.
As many as 5,293 chikungunya cases have been recorded till October 1 and the disease has caused 15 deaths so far. At least 21 fatalities due to dengue have been reported at various hospitals in Delhi.