Patna: Muzaffarpur chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Suryakant Tiwary has ordered a probe against Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey in a case related to negligence in the treatment of children suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) and brain fever.
The case regarding the issue was filed on June 17 by Muzaffarpur based social activist Tamanna Hashmi who had alleged that the ministers had failed in spreading awareness regarding the disease which has affected the lives of more than 600 children across the state.
The case was filed against the ministers under section 323(causing hurt), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide) and 504 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
“CJM court has forwarded the case to ACJM court and ordered probe against Union health minister Harsh Vardhan and Bihar health minister Mangal Pandey under section 192 CrPC. The matter will come up for hearing on June 28,’’ Lawyer Sudhir Kumar Ojha told this newspaper.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had sought a response from the Centre and Bihar government on the issue. Sources claim that the court’s order in the case has come as a huge setback for the state government which has been battling to control the AES in Bihar.
The outbreak of the disease has been hitting the region every year since 1995.