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MP HC Pulls Up Centre For Non-Utilisation Of Funds Meant to Treat Bhopal Gas Tragedy Victims [Read Order]

The Madhya Pradesh High Court has pulled up the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for not providing proper medical care and attention to the affected persons of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy even after passage of over 33 years.

The court expressed displeasure over non-utilisation of funds meant for providing the medical care and delay in preparing recruitment for doctors/specialists of the Bhopal Memorial Hospital and Research Centre (BMHRC) and other facilities.

On examining records during the hearing of a bunch of petitions seeking direction for providing proper medical care for the affected persons, the court found out that the Union Government had over Rs. 400-crore corpus since the year 2012, out of which more than half of the amount is fixed in FDRs.

A division bench of Chief Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Vijay Kumar Shukla observed: “Instead of taking expeditious steps for utilisation of the money and recruitment of doctors/specialists to provide long term solution for the treatment of the Bhopal gas victims, the bureaucracy is not moving, and if moving, it is at a snail’s pace.”

The report of Scientific Commission for continuing studies on Effects of Bhopal Gas Leakage on Life Systems released in July 1987 claimed around 2,00,000 persons of the population were exposed to the toxic gas (methyl-iso-cyanide).

Later, in a study carried out by Indian Council of Medical Research, the figure of affected persons went up to around 5,00,000.

Over the delay in finalising recruitment rules for doctors/specialists in BMHRC, the court directed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to furnish the recruitment rules for the doctors/specialists by February 14, 2018.

The court observed that recruitment rules be finalised so that specialists/doctors can be appointed to provide proper medical care and attention to the Bhopal gas tragedy-affected persons promptly and expeditiously.

The court turned down the request of the Union government counsel to adjourn hearing for three months seeking more time to finalise the recruitment rules.

Read the Order Here

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