regular-article-logo Sunday, 28 May 2023

Supreme Court roasts Uttar Pradesh government for stalling

We are sorry to say, but this has become a habit of this state to not take action unless a contempt petition is filed: N.V. Ramana

R. Balaji New Delhi Published 07.05.22, 03:00 AM
CJI NV Ramana.

CJI NV Ramana. File photo

The Supreme Court on Friday rebuked the Uttar Pradesh government, saying it tended not to comply with court orders until a contempt petition was filed.

“You don’t comply with our directions. Only in the last minute when somebody files a contempt you come here,” Chief Justice N.V. Ramana told state additional advocate-general Garima Prashad.


“We are sorry to say, but this has become a habit of this state (Uttar Pradesh) to not take action unless a contempt petition is filed.”

Justice Ramana, heading a bench that included Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli, did not specify the cases that had prompted the oral observation.

The comment came in a case in which the bench directed the state government to pay Rs 50,000 as interim legal expenses to the family of an 82-year-old Covid patient who had mysteriously disappeared from a government hospital in Allahabad last May and remains untraced.

The court directed the payment so the family can be made to appear before the top court from the next hearing.

Ram Lal Yadav had been admitted to the T.B. Sapru Hospital on May 6 last year with Covid-related complications and disappeared on May 8 after being shifted to the trauma centre with low oxygen levels.

Justice Murari wondered how a patient could disappear with oxygen levels so low that he could hardly walk. Justice Kohli underlined that the state government had failed to trace Yadav in a year.

Prashad said the incident had occurred during the peak of the second Covid wave.

“The doctor and the person maintaining the CCTV at the hospital too were suffering from Covid. We have terminated all the staff who were there.... Disciplinary proceedings were initiated and even doctors were suspended,” Prashad said.

She said the state had issued posters and made appeals on television and radio for information on Yadav.

The apex court was hearing the state government’s appeal against an Allahabad High Court order directing eight senior government officials to be present before it in connection with Yadav’s disappearance.

The high court had passed the direction on a habeas corpus petition from Yadav’s son Rahul seeking production of his father.

The apex court on Friday stayed the high court order.

The Uttar Pradesh government had earlier received flak from the top court in the Lakhimpur Kheri massacre case, with a bench slamming state police’s investigation.

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