Orissa HC appointed a committee to ascertain the living conditions of leprosy patients in the state

For the ascertainment of the living conditions and medical facilities available to the leprosy patients living in the colonies in the state, the Orissa High Court formed a committee consisting of three advocates.

The order came by a division bench comprising of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and justice S.K. Panigrahi while they were hearing the PIL which sought directions to the state authorities for the effective implementation of the National Leprosy Eradication Programme.

The court observed that there is no clear indications in the response filed by the state regarding the compliance of the directions issued by the Supreme Court in it’s order in the case of Pankaj Sinha V. UOI(2014) and stated that,”No clear picture has emerged on the exact number of leprosy affected persons in the State of Odisha, district-wise as of date. Also, there is no clarity on the facilities available in every district to the leprosy affected persons and whether the various interventions by the State and the Centre have had any positive impact and have resulted in a reduction of the incidence of leprosy.”

The court further added, in the form of direction, that,”The Committee will try and interact with also interact with the independent health professionals for their perspectives, inputs and suggestions which can then be incorporated in the report.”

Also, the Director of Health Service, Odisha to file an affidavit highlighting the following aspects:
✓ Prevalence of leprosy of both varieties.
✓ Status of compliance of directions issued in Pankaj Sinha Case as far as Odisha is concerned.
✓ Status of filling up of vacancies of medical officers and staffs.

The matter will now be heard on September 2.

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