The Madras High Court Bench has issued summons to the Dean of the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH), directing him to appear in a case relating to a fire in Sivakasi last year, which claimed 39 lives.

The litigant, G. Murugesan, told the court through his counsel that the GRH authorities did not give proper treatment to his son, a burn victim. Mr. Murugesan’s son, M. Arumugam, reportedly entered Om Sakthi Fireworks, where a major fire occurred on September 5, 2012, in a bid to help the stranded employees. He sustained serious burns during the second explosion in the factory.

Mr. Arumugam was initially admitted at the Government Hospital in Sivakasi and was shifted to a private hospital by his family for better treatment. He was later admitted at the GRH because the family was not able to meet the medical expenses. “The GRH authorities discharged my son from the hospital when his condition did not improve. I admitted him to the GRH again, hoping that they would help my son recover from a critical condition. The authorities, however, insisted that my son be discharged and he was not given proper treatment.”

His counsel, W. Peter Ramesh Kumar, alleged that GRH authorities insisted on Mr. Arumugam’s removal from the hospital so that he would not die there and raise the fire death toll. “The State government had announced that those injured in the blaze would get a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh. Arumugam’s medical expenditure so far amounts to Rs. 3.50 lakh. We have not received any compensation from the government to date,” the petitioner said.

Justice Chitra Venkataraman and S. Vimala, before whom the case came up for hearing, directed the GRH Dean to appear before the Bench on Monday. As he failed to appear, the Bench issued fresh summons, directing him to be present at the court on Wednesday. The judges will also hear another case on Wednesday, seeking the appointment of a retired judge to probe the fire episode.

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