Govt should register FIR: Legal Experts
Waiting For Outcome Of Inquiry: Police
Srinagar, May 28: Legal experts on Monday demanded that State Government should register a case into the infant deaths at GB Pant Children Hospital here and order an independent investigation by police into the fatalities to fix the responsibility.
Former Chief Justice Orissa, Justice Bilal Nazki, said given the magnitude of deaths which took place at the GB Pant Hospital, the Government should register a case into the matter and order an independent investigation by police. “A court can only establish criminal negligence on the basis of police investigation and not the inquiry ordered by the Government,” said Justice Bilal Nazki.
The hospital has witnessed more than 370 deaths since January. Following the crisis, the Government attached the Medical Superintended (MS), GB Pant, Javaid Choudhary. The Government also ordered an inquiry by Director SKIMS, Showkat Zargar, into the deaths.
Justice Nazki said the inquiry is an “administrative issue” and can neither fix responsibility nor establish criminal negligence. “It is a different issue whether the police investigation will establish any criminal negligence. But the case has to be registered into these deaths,” said Justice Nazki who has also served as acting Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court and Judge J&K High Court.
Sources said the one-man inquiry has the mandate to probe whether the deaths were as per the “excepted norms” or it was an “abnormal phenomena.”
“It will also look into whether the institute has the required critical care in terms of manpower and infrastructure, the reason for the deaths and what was the level of hygiene at the institute,” sources said. However, sources said it has no powers to probe criminal negligence, if any, which led to the deaths.
Senior advocate at J&K High Court, Zaffar Shah, said the families of the dead infants have also the right to approach police for registering a case.
But, he said, Government should have ordered a Commission of Inquiry into the matter to investigate the “high magnitude of deaths.”
“The inquiry ordered by the Government is not enough,” he said. “Government has to widen the net and probe all dimensions like whether the deaths took place due to lack of manpower and infrastructure, what was the nature of diseases, what were the facilities available to people at district levels and other aspects.”
Former Law Secretary, Akhtar Kochak, too said government can register a case into these deaths “It is an option with the Government,” he said.
The Kashmir Civil Society has called a meeting Tuesday to discuss the issue. “We will come up with a strategy to pressurize Government to act in the matter. Of course civil society is duty bound to raise the issues confronting people and we can also approach police for filing a case into the deaths,” said Society member, Shakeel Qalander.
The Senior Superintendent of Police (Srinagar), Ashiq Bukhari, said police was waiting for completion of the inquiry ordered by the Government. “A high level inquiry has been ordered into the matter. Once it is completed, police will act accordingly,” the SSP said.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 May 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 May 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 29 May 2012 00:00:00 IST
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