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Muzaffarpur Court Orders Probe Against Harsh Vardhan, Mangal Pandey Over Encephalitis Deaths

File photo of Union Minister Harsh Vardhan.

File photo of Union Minister Harsh Vardhan.

The Magistrate’s orders come hours after the Supreme Court pulled up Bihar government over the deaths of children over 160 in the Encephalitis outbreak.

New Delhi: Muzaffarpur Chief Judicial Magistrate Suryakant Tiwari has ordered a probe in a negligence case against Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Health Minister Mangal Pandey.

So far over 160 children have died of brain fever in Muzaffarpur. The magistrate’s orders come on the petition filed by Tamanna Hashmi on June 17, which accused Vardhan and Pandey of having failed their duties.

The plea also pointed to the governments’ failure to sensitise people about the disease in areas where the death toll was higher.

The Magistrate’s order comes hours after the Supreme Court pulled up Bihar government over the deaths of children due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

The court asked the government to respond on the adequacy of medicines, nutrition and hygiene, following which the state said that "things were under control" and sought 10 days to file a written reply. The top court, however, granted it seven days to file a response.