Supreme Court of India pulls up Chhattisgarh over deficient information on sterilisation deaths

NEW DELHI(PTI): The Supreme Court on Friday pulled up the Chhattisgarh government for filing “incomplete” affidavit over recent alleged botched up sterilisation surgeries at Bilaspur district in which 13 persons lost their lives.

“In view of our earlier order, Chhattisgarh has filed an affidavit. However, certain details like the number of FIRs filed, progress made in their investigation etc are not submitted. We expect the state to file complete affidavit,” a social justice bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and U U Lalit said.

It also sought information about present status of the the judicial inquiry of a panel, headed by retired District Judge Anita Jha, formed to look into the sterilisation deaths.

The bench, during the hearing, expressed its anger saying, “Why do you file incomplete data? Don’t think that by filing this incomplete affidavit your work is over. This is not adversarial litigation. You have to take responsibility.”

The court, in its order, directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit before next date of hearing on April 17. It said that the affidavit shall indicate the steps that have been taken to “ameliorate the conditions” of the persons who faced recent tragedy in sterilization camps in Bilaspur.

Meanwhile, it also asked Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the Centre, to submit a consolidated chart and indicate status of implementation of apex court’s directions given in a case in 2009.

The counsel for Chhattisgarh, during the hearing, said that the state has taken “prompt and proactive” steps to ensure the best possible treatment to the affected persons.

“Laparoscopic sterilization camps were organised in Sakri village of Bilaspur district on November 8, 2014. In all 137 operations were done in these camps. Patients started coming to different hospitals of Bilaspur with complaints of vomiting, pain etc in early morning of November 10, 2014.

“District administration took immediate steps and proactively brought women operated in these camps for treatment. All except 13 improved after treatment and have been discharged after full recovery,” the state government said in the affidavit.

The state government has requested the Jha panel to give its complete report within three months.

On the issue of providing compensation to deceased victims under Family Planning Indemnity Scheme, the Solicitor General told the bench that the Centre has released funds, but certain states have failed to utilise the money.