The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 1 December, pulled up the Gujarat government over "attempts to suppress facts" in connection with fire tragedies in private COVID hospitals in the state. The top court in the last hearing took cognisance of the fire tragedy in a private COVID hospital in Rajkot, which led to the death of five persons.
A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah told the Gujarat government counsel, "We have seen your counter. According to you everything is good. So far state hospital is concerned all is well."
No Attempt Should Be Made to Suppress Facts: Justice Shah
Justice Shah pulling up the Gujarat government said, "So far the commission is concerned (to probe the fire tragedy), it has also expired, and also the state government stand is contrary to your own chief electrical engineering officer in connection with the status of wiring in the hospital."
The bench cited the Ahmedabad fire tragedy in a COVID-19 hospital in August, where eight people died.
Justice said no attempt should be made to suppress the facts.
The bench asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to look into the matter and ensure a proper report is filed. The top court has listed the matter for further hearing on Thursday.
On 27 November, the Supreme Court took cognisance of a fire incident in a Rajkot hospital in Gujarat, where five patients died in the blaze.
Gujarat Government is Answerable: SC
Expressing anguish over the incident, a bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and comprising Justices R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah termed it "shocking".
The bench said that the Gujarat government must be answerable and there can't just be an inquiry and report. Citing the fire incident as a wakeup call, the bench said the issues with fire safety in hospitals would not be resolved by merely appointing committee or commission, instead there must be a thorough inspection of the premises and the responsibility should be fixed.
The Rajkot hospital fire resulted in the death of five patients in the ICU of a COVID-19 dedicated hospital. The top court said fire incidents in hospitals killing patients are recurring in states and one hospital after another, and there is no action taken by the states to prevent fire. The top court sought response from the Centre as well as Gujarat by 1 December.