The Supreme Court on Friday took suo motu cognisance of the fire that broke out at a coronavirus hospital in Gujarat’s Rajkot city, Live Law reported. The court directed the Centre and the Gujarat government to file a report on the matter by December 1.
A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, R Subhash Reddy and MR Shah asked the Centre to explain in detail the measures it has taken to prevent fires in its report. The court stated this is not the first fire incident at a designated hospital to treat coronavirus patients.
“These incidents are repeated and we notice that no complete steps being taken by states nor is there any mechanism to abrogate the situation,” it said. “The SG [Solicitor General] submits that he is aware of the incident and he will ensure that steps are taken by tomorrow and that he will inform the court regarding steps taken on the next date.”
As the hearing on the matter began, the court strongly criticised the Centre and the Gujarat government for their inability to prevent such incidents. “This is shocking,” the bench said. “And let me say this is not the first incident. “We are taking suo motu cognisance of this incident.”
Solicitor General Tushar Mehra told the Supreme Court that the central government will form a committee. However, Justice Bhushan said that the court does not want a committee, but “proper steps” to address the problem.
The judges directed that the electric lines, wires and cables should be properly inspected, according to PTI. “These incidents are repeated from states to states and hospitals to hospitals,” the court said. “No concrete action has been taken by the states in this regard.”
The fire broke out around 12.30 am in the intensive unit care ward on the first floor of the four-storey Uday Shivanand Hospital in Anand Bungalow Chowk area. Nearly 31 patients were admitted in the hospital. Gujarat Chief Minister said that 26 patients were rescued and shifted to other facilities, while five patients died.