| Mumbai |
Published: May 16, 2020 1:16:38 pm
The Bombay High Court on Friday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to file an affidavit enumerating the list of clinics and maternity homes offering services to expecting women across the city and also provide an account of the number of deliveries conducted by the medical institutions during the lockdown period.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice A A Sayed passed the directions while hearing through video-conference, a public interest plea filed by advocate Mohiuddin Vaid, who referred to news reports to say that a pregnant woman was refused admission to J J Hospital as she did not have a Covid-19 negative report.
According to media reports, the pregnant lady from Nagpada on April 27 wanted to get admitted at JJ Hospital but was allegedly refused admission since she was unable to produce a Covid-19 negative report. Thereafter, the woman had to approach three other hospitals to get admitted. After being turned down by four hospitals, she was forced to give birth at home, with the help of a midwife, who was present outside one of the hospitals.
The petitioner urged the court to direct authorities to adopt appropriate measures for such situations.
Assistant government pleader for the state Jyoti Chavan submitted an affidavit in reply and opposed the allegations in the plea, saying that no such details about the woman referred in the news reports are available with JJ Hospital. It is a non–Covid hospital and had admitted five pregnant women on April 27, the affidavit read.
Senior counsel for BMC Anil Sakhare submitted that there are a number of maternity homes and clinics catering to the needs of expecting women and the woman could avail their services. Sakhare sought time from the court to clear the civic body’s position.
After hearing the submissions, the bench said, “The BMC should indicate the names and particulars of maternity homes and clinics for expecting ladies and the number of deliveries that have been conducted in such maternity homes and clinics over the past couple of weeks.”
The court added that it would dispose off the PIL on the next hearing after perusing BMC’s response on May 22.
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