The Patna High Court on Monday directed the state authorities to ensure the welfare of leprosy patients in the state amid lockdown and to monitor the supply of food, medicines, etc. to them.
A division bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh and Justice Anil Kumar Sinha ordered the Chief Secretary of the Government of Bihar to monitor, in view of the spread of pandemic Covid-19, the issue of supply of food grains/ cooked food/ clean drinking water and medical facilities to leprosy patients.
The direction has come in a PIL filed by Sam Utthan (registered society), seeking directions for providing adequate facilities to the leprosy patients in the state who are living in "hazardous" conditions.
"Leprosy patients are neither getting proper cooked food/food grains nor medical facilities nor the sanitation facilities nor proper living atmosphere, particularly, during present pandemic COVID-19, as a result, their living has become hazardous," the Petitioner had submitted.
In view thereof, the bench has directed the Bihar State Legal Services Authority to file a comprehensive report with regard to availability of legal and financial aid to the leprosy patients, apart from food, medical and sanitization facilities, in all the districts in the state.
"It is expected from the Member Secretary, Bihar State Legal Services Authority to get a report from the Secretaries of all the District Legal Service Authorities with regard to legal aid, financial aid/transfer of money under various schemes, distribution of food grains, medical and sanitization facilities provided to leprosy patients as well as living conditions of such leprosy patients. Let a comprehensive report to that effect be brought on record before the next date of hearing," the bench directed.
Inter alia, the Petitioner has sought the following reliefs from the Court:
The matter is now posted for May 14.
Case Title: Sam Uttan v. Union of India & Ors.
Case No.: CWJC No. 5631/2020
Quorum: Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh and Justice Anil Kumar Sinha
Appearance: Advocate Gautam Kejriwal (for Petitioner); AAG Pushkar Narain Shahi, Additional Solicitor General SD Sanjay and Advocate Ratnesh Kumar (for Respondents)
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