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‘Shocked’ SC Orders Delhi Govt to Overhaul Leprosy Home on War Footing, Makes Officers Personally Accountable

The bench has given one month to the Delhi government for appointing the sanctioned staff for the leprosy home, including doctors, medical officers, nurses and dressers.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:November 11, 2018, 5:49 PM IST
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‘Shocked’ SC Orders Delhi Govt to Overhaul Leprosy Home on War Footing, Makes Officers Personally Accountable
File Photo of the Supreme Court of India.
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New Delhi: Expressing disgust at the standards of hygiene and food for the inmates, the Supreme Court has ordered for a complete revamp of the leprosy home in Delhi, making all the government officers concerned personally responsible.

A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said that the Court was "shocked" at the quality of food and the shoddy infrastructure of the shelter home, meant for the socially marginalised section, and that the state of affairs must change on a "war footing".

The bench dismissed the affidavit filed by the Delhi government's Social Welfare Department, stating the steps enumerated therein are "not only wholly unsatisfactory, but it also shows the apathetic attitude of the department towards need and the requirement".

The Court has now issued a string of directives on various aspects of the issue to ameliorate the condition of Delhi's Tahirpur Leprosy Complex, which is one of the largest homes in Asia for the people affected with leprosy.

The bench has given one month to the Delhi government for appointing the sanctioned staff for the leprosy home, including doctors, medical officers, nurses and dressers.

A dietician, the Court said, will assess the quality and quantity of food to be served to the inmates, who should also be provided fresh drink daily, hot water, laundry facility etc.

It had earlier noted that the breakfast being served was not even "fit for human consumption".

It directed the Public Works Department (PWD) to renovate the shelter home by the end of 2018.

"It will be personal responsibility of the Engineers to supervise and get the work done of very good quality. If there is any remiss found in the same, he will be hauled not only for disobedience but for otherwise for doing the job properly... appropriate action shall be recommended against him by this Court in case any remiss is found," the bench recorded in its order.

It further ordered for regular counselling of the inmates, apart from making the training centre functional within a month.

"During renovation etc, there shall not be any impediment created by anybody or any order of stoppage of work. This has to be done on top priority and no ban created by any authority shall come in the way of the renovation," the Court clarified.

It has also asked the Secretary of Delhi Legal Services Authority to get videography of the entire premises, including bathroom and kitchen, done, and submit a report in the Court on the next date of hearing.

The bench, which was hearing a PIL, will take up the matter again later this month.
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