With India having a high number of women dying every year due to pregnancy-related issues, the Uttarakhand High Court has tried to ensure that every expectant mother in the state gets due care by directing the state government and the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) to keep a record of all pregnant women and ensure that they get balanced diet and undergo all necessary antenatal checks.
The court has also announced that all expectant mothers can now write to the CMO before their date of delivery to make all arrangements at the nearest hospital for a safe delivery.
A bench of Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Lok Pal Singh passed the order while taking a grim view of the incident where a woman was forced to deliver a baby on a suspension bridge in Tyuni in Dehradun's Chakrata district last year.
The woman had to deliver the baby on the bridge with help of local women as the government medical facility was locked and she could not reach the other hospital due to intense labour pain.
“…a delivery has taken place on the suspension bridge in the interior part of the State. It is unfortunate. This should not happen again. The expectant mothers are required to be removed to the nearest government hospitals for delivery to save their lives. The delay in bringing the expectant mothers to nearest hospitals may prove fatal,” the bench noted.
The court has now passed the following mandatory directions:
The order comes on a petition filed for implementation of the PC&PNDT Act, 1994 in Uttarakhand.
The bench noted that in the year 2012, four cases of violation of the PC&PNDT Act (one at Almora and three at Dehradun) were filed in the year 2012 while three cases (one at Haridwar and two at Nainital) were filed in the year 2013.