Bharuch hospital had no NOC from fire dept, says PIL

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Ahmedabad, May 4 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday sought replies from the state authorities on a petition demanding that government officials be held accountable for the Bharuch hospital fire incident as previous orders of even the apex court were not followed.

A division bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav Karia issued notices to the state government and various municipal corporations, seeking replies by May 11.

The matter came up during the hearing of a PIL on COVID-19 situation in Gujarat which the high court has taken up `suo motu' or on its own.

The trust-run hospital in Bharuch where the fire claimed the lives of 18 persons -- 16 COVID-19 patients and two nurses -- on May 1 did not have a No Objection Certificate from the city's fire department, the plea claimed.

This was in violation of the court's earlier directions, issued after COVID-19 patients died in fires at hospitals in Ahmedabad and Rajkot, it said.

The Supreme Court had also taken suo motu cognizance of the November 11, 2020, fire at a Rajkot hospital in which five patients were killed and directed that all COVID-19 hospitals should obtain or renew their NOC from the fire department, petitioner Amit Panchal pointed out.

But the Patel Welfare Hospital in Bharuch, run by a charitable trust, did not have an NOC, which meant the authorities did not comply with either the SC or HC orders, said the petition.

It also demanded that the DA Mehta Commission's inquiry report into the Rajkot and Ahmedabad hospital fire incidents, already submitted to the government, be made public. PTI KA PD KRK KRK