The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to furnish details of maternity homes and clinics catering to the needs of pregnant women while hearing a PIL alleging that a pregnant woman was denied admission for delivery at JJ Hospital on the ground that she did not carry with her a negative Covid-19 test report.
The bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice AA Sayed heard via video conferencing the PIL filed by Mohiuddin Vaid appearing in person, who sought directions to the Corporation to put in place appropriate measures for pregnant women.
AGP Jyoti Chavan vehemently contested the allegation levelled in the PIL. She referred to the affidavit filed on behalf of the State and submitted that no such incident was reported at JJ Hospital.
Senior Counsel AY Sakhare appearing for the Corporation, argued that there are a number of maternity homes and clinics which are catering to the needs of expecting ladies. Moreover, he told the Court that if some time is granted, he would file an affidavit and make the position of the Corporation clear.
The Court directed MCGM to file an affidavit and indicate therein the names and particulars of maternity homes and clinics which are attending to expecting ladies and the number of deliveries that have been conducted in such maternity homes and clinics over the past couple of weeks.
Adjourning the matter by a week till May 22, Court asked the Corporation to file an affidavit by the said date-
"We propose to dispose of this PIL Petition on the next date upon looking into the particulars to be furnished by the Corporation in its affidavit."
The topic of this PIL assumes significance as it has been widely reported that pregnant women in the city have borne the brunt of an overstressed healthcare system caused due to the pandemic of Covid-19. In another case, a nine month pregnant lady was denied admission in Bandra by a private hospital as she was not carrying a Covid-19 report.