On May 13, a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G.S. Kulkarni ordered the State government to inform the High Court of the numbers of FIRs registered in cases of assault on doctors and hospital staff and the steps taken to protect them among other things.
The orders passed by the High Court comes in response to an affidavit filed by the deputy Secretary of State Health department. However, the bench said that the affidavit did not address any queries put forth by the high court in its earlier order.
The bench therefore directed the deputy secretary to file an additional affidavit by the next week and said that such an affidavit must also include the State’s response to the various suggestions submitted by the petitioners last week on curbing such incidents and protecting doctors and medical staff.
The PIL claimed that maximum number of such incidents of violence occurred in Maharashtra and the state government had failed to implement the existing legal provisions to curb the attacks on healthcare professionals who are working round the clock to save lives from COVID-19.
“The only word we can use is pathetic. This is absolutely callous. The State is not at all serious about protecting its doctors. Yet, the public expects doctors to give their all,” the Bench said.
The Maharashtra government doesn’t seem “serious” about protecting its doctors against attacks by kin of patients, the Bombay High Court, the bench added.
The PIL filed by one Dr. Rajeev Joshi who seeks judicial intervention to curb the violence, the High Court will hear the matter further on May 27.