The Himachal Pradesh High Court today widened the scope of investigation into the administrative negligence if any that led to the outbreak of jaundice in Shimla town.
Hearing the matter, the division bench comprised of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan directed the special investigating team (SIT) constituted by the State to investigate the jaundice outbreak in Shimla and Solan district too and submit the report.
The district magistrate of Solan and the other concerned authorities are directed to report the total deaths so far in Solan district due to jaundice.
The division bench also directed the State to deposit the amount of compensation within the timeframe. In its last hearing on February 25, the high court not only pulled up top government functionaries for their apparent lapses in dealing with the water-borne disease but also awarded an interim compensation of Rs.2 lakh to the next of kin of the deceased.
Listing the case for next hearing on March 28, it directed the State to deposit the amount within four weeks. Adopting soft posture against Irrigation and Public Health secretary Anuradha Thakur, the judges said: “It appears that she has made the efforts and is making the efforts to control the jaundice outbreak and to prevent it in the future too.”
High court ordered Chief Secretary P.Mitra, Director Public Relation M P. Sood, the Chief Medical Officers of jaundice affected districts, Principal Secretary (Education), Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development and Town Country Planning Department), Deputy Commissioner of Shimla, Hamirpur, Kullu, Una, Mandi and Member secretary state Pollution Control Board member-secretary Mr.Vineet Kumar to remain present in the court on the next hearing as most of them did not file affidavits despite issuing order by the court on last hearing. Court also issued show cause notice to some of them for not complying with the court order.