SC refers Aruna Shanbaug case to panel of doctors
The Supreme Court on Monday constituted a special panel of three doctors to examine a 60-year-old woman in Mumbai who has approached the apex court to permit her to end her life.
Aruna Ramachandran Shanbaug has been brain dead since 1973, after she was sodomised by a sweeper at KEM hospital, Mumbai. Shanbaug has moved the court through her friend Pinki Virani after her brother and sister abandoned her.
A bench comprising Justice Markandeya Katju and Justice Gyansudha Misra appointed the panel in wake of the variance between the allegations in the petition and the affidavit filed by the hospital’s dean, Amar Ramaji Pazare.
Contrary to the petitioner’s claim, the dean’s affidavit has claimed that Shanbaug accepts food in normal course and responds by facial expressions. According to him, she also makes sounds whenever she wants to use the toilet. The nursing staff, he added, now identifies her sounds and attends to it.
“We do not want to commit a judicial murder,” the bench said while appointing senior advocate Andhyarjuna to assist the court in the matter. It also issued notice to the Attorney General G E Vahanvati and fixed February 22 for further hearing.
Directing the panel to examine and submit a report to the court about Shanbaug’s condition, the bench further said they would also examine Virani’s locus standi (right to file) the petition before the SC.
“Normally, it’s the kith or kin who files such petitions. Is it justified to entertain the petition as a friend has filed it? We also want to examine that in the absence of a legislature who is entitled to take a decision regarding the life of someone who is in a vegetable condition? Should the courts entertain such petitions?” the bench said.
IKEA, the Swedish-founded, Dutch-headquartered multinational conglomerate, saw huge crowds in Bengaluru and a bumper weekend. This was also the fist weekend since the firm - that sells and designs ready-to-assemble furniture - opened the Karnataka capital's first store for the public. This happens to be the fourth store, however, for India - other stores are in Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai and Worli. Expectedly, the firm said it was "overwhelmed".
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said his government has prepared a plan to promote natural farming on 50,000 acres of land. He said that farmers having land below 2.5 acres will be provided 50% subsidy for buying indigenous cows if they voluntarily adopt natural farming. Haryana agriculture minister JP Dalal said that 700 agriculture development officers will be recruited soon to provide better assistance to the farmers.
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday launched state narcotics control bureau's 'Mission Drug Free Haryana' on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking. He said that to keep youths away from drugs, 1,100 sport nurseries will be set up in the state and Haryana will soon emerge as a sports hub of the country with 1,000 coaches and yoga teachers.
One person was killed and Sandeep Kumar's mother got injured in an accident that led to a pileup in Fatehabad on Sunday, said police. The accident took place when Sandeep Kumar along with his mother Maya Devi was going to Fatehabad.
Reiterating its demand to revoke Agnipath scheme, the Congress on Sunday said the new recruitment policy was yet another ill-conceived disruption by the Centre that will create new problems for India's national security. “This government acts first, and then starts thinking. Many amendments have already been made in the last few days, but the youth of the country are demanding its complete rollback,” said Ranjeet Ranjan, Congress' Rajya Sabha MP, in a news conference here.