Today's Paper

Delhi Govt. blames officials for chikungunya, gets court rap

PWD workers using fogging machines during a drive in the Capital.- FILE PHOTO: V. Sudershan

PWD workers using fogging machines during a drive in the Capital.- FILE PHOTO: V. Sudershan  

The Delhi government on Friday blamed the spread of dengue and chikungunya infection in the national Capital on officers hesitant to work.

In a hearing before a Bench led by Justice Madan B. Lokur, senior advocate Ajit Kumar Sinha, representing Lieutenant Governor's office, pointed to a statement made by Delhi government suggesting an atmosphere of confusion prevailing in the governance of the National Capital.

“Not willing to take responsibility”

The affidavit said officers are not willing to take any responsibility and files are sent to the Lieutenant Governor's office for clearance.

An annoyed Bench directed the Delhi government to place on record the names of all these recalcitrant officers on October 3.

“File an affidavit on oath giving their full details. And you will be personally responsible for any false facts,” Justice Lokur cautioned the Delhi government.

When the Delhi government counsel and senior advocate Paras Kuhad sought time till October 7 to file the details as he would be unavailable on Monday, Justice Lokur shot back, saying “No, we want it on Monday itself. If you are not available, ask your client to get another lawyer”.

“People are dying of chikungunya. We cannot wait till Friday (October 7),” Justice Lokur added. Incidentally, October 7 is the last working day before the court closes for Dussehra holidays.

The hearing was based on a suo motu PIL concerning the suicides of parents of a child who died of dengue in 2015.

In the previous hearing, the Supreme Court had observed that “once Delhi is cleaned, then we will clean up the whole country”.

The Supreme Court had taken suo motu cognisance of an incident in Delhi concerning the suicide of the parents of a seven-year-old boy who died of dengue after allegedly being denied treatment by five private hospitals.

The couple, Laxmichandra and Babita Rout — both natives of Odisha, committed suicide by jumping from a four-storeyed building in south Delhi’s Lado Sarai in September 2015.

Their only son Avinash had died of suspected dengue.

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