The Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the state to inform whether there was any obstruction in permitting the petitioner scientist to collect discarded blood samples of patients suffering from fever from various health centres, health laboratories, and district hospitals in the State to develop a diagnostic kit to detect tiger moth disease from infectious viral fevers.
Justice PB Suresh Kumar issued the order observing that "when someone is initiating innovative research, don't try to obstruct it. We need more of such research to happen." The matter has been listed for further hearing on Monday.
The petition was filed by Dr. Wills Janardhanan, a scientist working as the Project Co-ordinator of SIDBI Innovation and Incubation Centre at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. In his petition, he submitted that a high incidence of fever epidemics was associated with the massive outbreak of tiger moth adult population during the monsoon in the State.
He also claimed that the scientific analysis proved that the body fluids and chitinous scales of tiger moths were found to be highly toxic and inflammatory. Similarly, a test conducted between 2009-2012 revealed that fever epidemics were correlated to the physical presence of tiger moth larval abundance during monsoon in Kerala.
Advocate MT Suresh Kumar appeared for the petitioner and submitted that although the petitioner had preferred several representations seeking permission and assistance to collect discarded blood samples of patients, a concrete answer was never given.
The petitioner pressed on the urgency of the matter on the ground that he was obligated to submit the final clinically validated prototype for detecting tiger moth toxins in three months to the funding agency. Therefore, unless a decision was taken within a specified time, the research could end up with irreparable setbacks. He also submitted that the project was on the verge of completion.
The Government Pleader sought one month's time to inform the State's response in the case. However, the Court expressed that this was a matter of urgency and asked the State to respond within a few days.
Case Title: Dr. Wills Janardhanan v. State of Kerala