“Doctors must be protected from Harassment”: Bombay High Court

  • Ratna Singh
  • 09:41 PM, 10 Jun 2021

The Bombay High Court today observed thay there was a need to safeguard doctors serving as frontline workers against harassment.

Court noted that the Central government's allocation of Amphotericin-B, an essential drug used in the treatment of Mucormycosis (black fungus),  appeared to be irrational.

It was pointed out that doctors were being prosecuted for cases for not following Covid protocols amid shortage of drugs.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni asked Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to find out if the fatalities was caused by the delay in the administration of necessary drugs as the Bench was informed that 82 people had died of Mucormycosis in Maharashtra in the last three days.

The Bench was informed that 600 deaths have been recorded in total due to Mucormycosis.

"This has to be brought down Mr. Adv, in one days 82 death,”, Court said.

The AG informed that this is the latest data till 10th June, 2021.

"Mr Singh, 25% should be in Maharashtra but allocation doesn’t suggest the same,” the Court noted that, the drug allocation was inadequate and not proportional to the number of active cases in the state.

The Bench further, directed the State government to maintain real-time record of Mucormycosis cases and the available stock of drugs and inform the same to the Central government so as to procure the medicines in time.

"The quantity (of Amphotericin-B) allocated to Maharashtra is very short. Allocation has to be dynamic and need-based pan-India. No patient should suffer for want of medicine," the court.

The court was hearing a bunch of PILs on COVID-19 management in the state and observed, “File a fresh affidavit, home production is not sufficient, find out list of countries who have dealt the issue and adapt their policy.82 deaths in 36 hours is concerning.”

The AG also informed the bench that, “Maharashtra had started vaccination against coronavirus in prisons to inoculate staff and inmates. While most of the staff was vaccinated, 27,000 inmates were yet to be fully vaccinated.”

He further stated that, “RT-PCR tests were also being conducted frequently in jails, adding that in Taloja prison near Mumbai, which is highly congested, there were only five active cases of COVID-19.”

The Court also cited Lalita Kumari judgement when Advocate Inamdar informed the Bench about the harassment being faced by doctors, following which, Court noted,

“Stick over to this aspect & bring the same to us. Let us know how we can protect the doctors from being prosecuted at this stage. Doctors should not be harassed like this. We will pass an order tomorrow.”

Matter will be heard tomorrow.