Cuttack, Feb. 20: Orissa High Court has disallowed withdrawal of an affidavit filed by state health and family welfare principal secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra in connection with a public interest litigation that urged for intervention against failure to provide basic infrastructure, doctors and staff in VSS Medical College and Hospital at Burla.
Holding that the affidavit has already been put on record, acting Chief Justice P.K. Mohanty and Justice S.K. Mishra disallowed the state counsel to withdraw it yesterday. They, however, granted the liberty to submit an additional affidavit if the government wanted to file an improved sworn statement.
Amicus curiae Pravat Ranjan Dash said the state counsel urged the court to allow withdrawal of the affidavit on the plea of submitting a better affidavit after the court’s attention was drawn to its contents.
“Members of the bar alleged that the affidavit filed by health and family welfare principal secretary Pradipta Kumar Mohapatra was not only evasive and incomplete, but it also presented false information,” Dash said.
The bench has fixed tomorrow for hearing the PIL.
Mohapatra had filed the affidavit after high court directed him to submit an official statement “indicating the status of VSS more particularly about the doctors, instruments and also with regard to supply of medicines”. The court had issued the direction on February 5 after suo motu registering a PIL on the basis of a letter petition.
Sanat Luha and eleven others of Burla had submitted the letter petition on the basis of which Orissa High Court acting chief justice registered the PIL.
The letter petition alleged that patients were suffering because of lack of infrastructure and healthcare facilities at VSS.
Accusing the state government of inaction, they had alleged that no dialysis was being done at the nephrology department of the hospital because of absence of doctors. Patients are also suffering because of to lack of doctors at the VSS urology department.