The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh high court on Friday ordered the constitution of a judicial enquiry committee to probe the deaths of children at state-run Maharaja Yeshwantrao Hospital.
The committee shall comprise of a retired district judge, a dean of Bhopal medical college and a representative from the central health department. The committee has been given two months to submit its report.
A division bench of acting chief justice Rajendra Menon and justice Vivek Rusia gave the order after the government produced its report on the death of two children. The victims were accidentally administered nitrous oxide on May 27 – 28.
“Based on the recommendations of a high-level committee and its scrutiny, the hospital superintendent has been removed. And Dr VS Pal has been appointed as the new superintendent,” the government said in its report.
The government has directed departmental enquiry against MGM college dean Dr MK Rathore, MY hospital’s former superintendent Dr AD Bhatnagar, deputy superintendent Dr Sunil Narang, HoD anesthesia Dr KK Arora, associate professor Dr Brajesh Lahoti and assistant professor, anesthesia, Dr Basant Ningwal.
The principal secretary of medical education has requested his counterpart in public works department to look into the matter, the government said.
Dubbing the government’s replies as ‘superficial’, the petitioners sought a fair probe in the matter. “How can their (the govt) own committee probe their misdoings. The inquiry should be done by independent members,” advocate Shanno Khan of Human Rights Law Network said.
Another counsel Manish Yadav said the government is trying to mislead the court by giving ‘shallow’ replies. “After the court’s strict stance on Wednesday, the government removed the superintendent, just to show they are acting swiftly,” he said.