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Bombay HC declines request for judicial probe in Goa O2 shortage deaths

In a development which could spell relief for the Goa government, the Bombay High Court bench in Goa on Monday declined to set up a judicial probe into deaths due to oxygen shortage in the state's top government health facility.

Updated Jun 28, 2021 16:45 PM

Bombay HC declines request for judicial probe in Goa O2 shortage deaths

The court stated that the petitioners had not provided exact details leading to the fatal incidents and cited the absence of family members of deceased persons from the bunch of petitions which the court has been hearing for more than a month now.

"According to us, it will not be appropriate to consider the issue of setting up a Judicial Commission to inquire into the deaths at the Goa Medical College in May 2021 or the issue of payment of compensation in these petitions," a division bench of Justices M.S. Sonak and M.S. Jawalkar said in their order.

"This is because there are no proper pleadings in any of the petitions on this issue. By merely filing some miscellaneous application, which is also quite vague, the petitioners cannot seek such a relief," the order also said.

Apart from requesting a judicial probe into the deaths of nearly 80 patients at the Goa Medical College in mid-May due to oxygen shortage, multiple petitioners had also sought the High Court's intervention in the maladministration at the apex health facility. The petitioners had also sought compensation for the kin of those who had died due to oxygen shortage.

One of the petitioners, the South Goa Advocates Association, had specifically sought the appointment of an Inquiry Commission panel headed by a retired High Court judge with a judicial magistrate, doctors and police officials as members.

In its argument before the High Court, the Goa government had contended that a judicial probe would lower the morale of the frontline workers engaged in the government's Covid management efforts.

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