The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to respond to a public interest litigation alleging that more than 15,820 persons have been fitted with faulty hip implants supplied by multinational company Johnson and Johnson, PTI reported. A health ministry report in 2017 reflected the company’s claim that 4,700 people had been fitted with the faulty implant, of whom only 882 had been traced.

On Thursday, court also directed the government to submit the report of an expert committee looking into the matter.

The panel met on September 18, a week after it was formed, to evaluate cases of the first 15 patients with faulty hip implants who approached the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation for financial compensation. It has been asked to determine the quantum of compensation to be given to patients who have the faulty implants manufactured by Johnson & Johnson’s subsidiary DePuy International. Dr RK Arya, the director of Safdarjung Hospital’s sports injury centre, is heading the committee.

The Centre has also asked the principal and health secretaries to form state-level committees to examine the details of affected patients and determine the quantum of compensation for those who had to undergo corrective surgery.

According to a report by an expert committee set up by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare in February 2017, over 3,600 patients with the faulty implants are now untraceable. At least four people died after undergoing surgery. The company itself has admitted that there were 121 “serious adverse events” related to the surgeries in India between January 2014 and June 2017. The government has said the company is responsible for paying damages to all patients who reported adverse reactions.