Court asks BMC, State, Wadia hospitals to meet

Minor relief: Wadia hospitals and the BMC have been asked to keep the larger public interest in mind.

Minor relief: Wadia hospitals and the BMC have been asked to keep the larger public interest in mind.   | Photo Credit: Kabya Lama

HC sets Feb. 12 for meeting; says it trusts them to resolve issues

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed Wadia hospitals, the State government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to hold a board meeting on February 12 and resolve issues related to the disbursement of funds.

A Division Bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and R.I. Chagla was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Sarva Shramik Sanghatna, seeking release of funds for the hospitals. As per the trust deed signed by the hospitals, the maternity hospital receives grants from the State and the BMC, while the children’s hospital gets funds only from the corporation. The BMC held back its December payment, citing irregularities. This led to protests by current and former employees over unpaid salaries and pensions.

The court said, “We hope and trust that all the parties concerned shall resolve all issues keeping the larger public interest in mind.” The Bench also said, “After this meeting, if things do not work out, we feel it would be best to part ways amicably.”

Advocate Girish Godbole, appearing for the State, said it has been seeking financial details from the hospital since 2017, but has not yet received them. Senior counsel Rafiq Dada, the hospital’s counsel, said it is ready to allow inspection of the relevant documents.

“Dirty linen should not be washed in public or in court. It does not auger well that such causes are converted into slanging matches,” the court said. The Bench also hit out at the authorities and said, “If you (the government and the BMC) have been giving such huge amounts of money to the hospitals since so long, don’t you have some accountability? No visits... no vigil... it is our money that is being given to the hospitals. Whatever has been going on at these hospitals all this while was with the blessings of the State government and municipal corporation.”

It also said the government and the BMC are the two most important functionaries relied upon by the people of Mumbai and the State. The matter will now be heard on February 18.

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Printable version | Feb 27, 2020 11:33:03 AM |

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