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Treatment and Adequate facilities for the outstation patients should be ensured:Delhi High Court

A Public Interest Litigation was filed by a lawyer Karan Seth via his advocate Arjun Sayal  regarding the treatment and looking after of outstation patients who were earlier treated at All India Institute of Medical Science,Delhi (AIIMS).It happened because All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) has been converted into an exclusive Covid 19 hospital.

           During the last hearing,Mrs Rachna Malik,who regularly visits the outstation patients said to the court that, “there is no potable drinking water facility at the night shelter, and she has been providing drinking water at the said night shelter by purchasing the same.” She also said that “Though the toilets are cleaned twice a day, due to lack of water, they get soiled very fast, and there is also choking off the sewer line.”

         Various videos regarding the issue were also shown to the court.

          After seeing the videos and hearing Rachna Malik,the Court said that,“it appeared that after its last order, senior officials of DUSIB and the chief secretary of Delhi took corrective steps, there is apprehension that the situation may go back to what it was once the court stops monitoring it.It noted that though DUSIB claimed it is maintaining entry registers but these may not be maintained with any regularity or seriousness”.

           The court also mentioned the selfless works done by NGOs and Social Workers in helping the Night shelter patients and said that, “their efforts have to be appreciated and lauded by all. We, therefore, hope and expect that the officers of DUSIB, including Mr. Sharma, would appreciate the contribution made by Mr. & Ms. Malik in the right perspective, as they do not have anything personal against any officers of DUSIB. All that they have done is to highlight the shortcomings in the management of the night shelter of DUSIB. We, therefore, do not expect Mr. & Ms. Malik, or any inmate of the night shelter who came on record to disclose the prevailing position, to be targeted in any way.”

            The matter was considered by a bench consisting of honourable justices,Manmohan and Sanjeev Narula.After hearing the matter,the Court issued order to Urban Shelter Improvement Board(USIB) , All India Institute of Medical Sciences(AIIMS) , and Delhi Government to ensure that the patients at night shelters are treated properly and efficiently.

      The division bench concluded that, “We are, therefore, of the view that a system should be put in place where sufficient checks and vigilance is maintained with regard to maintenance of facilities at the night shelters in question, and other night shelter being run and managed by DUSIB in the NCT of Delhi.”

by Ayisha Riswana