KCR asks officials to give Telangana HC info on all steps taken to combat COVID-19

The Telangana High Court had earlier directed six top officials, including the state’s chief secretary, to appear before it on July 28 for repeatedly ignoring its directions.
KCR asks officials to give Telangana HC info on all steps taken to combat COVID-19
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Pained by the remarks of the Telangana High Court, pulling up the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) led state government for its poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao instructed officials to provide all information accurately to the court.

A day after the High Court summoned Chief Secretary and five other top officials and warned that heads will roll for ignoring its directions repeatedly, a meeting presided over by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao reviewed the situation on Tuesday.

Officials who attended the meeting felt that everybody is filing Public Interest Litigations (PILs) and the High Court continued to accept them for hearing.

According to a statement from the Chief Minister's Office (CMO), several participants expressed their opinions on the High Court expressing its anger despite the fact that the government and medical staff are working with commitment with regard to taking measures to contain the virus, conducting the tests and the treatment.

"On the corona issue, every other person is going to the High Court. So far, the High Court has admitted 87 Public Interest Litigations. Due to the daily hearings, the officials are facing problems and hardship. Senior doctors and other officials, who are working day and night giving treatment to the needy, are forced to spend more of their time running to the Court.

In this hour of crisis, these senior officials had to leave their primary duty and are spending time to prepare for the court hearing and to attend the hearings. With this, they have not been able to render cent percent justice to their duties,” the statement said.

They claimed that compared to other states in the country, the situation in Telangana is “better”. The mortality rate is low but yet the state government and the medical officers are working to the best of their ability. The state administration is ready to provide medical treatment to all patients whatever may be their number. “Every day, thousands of tests are done. It is painful that though so much has been done, yet the High Court made some comments."

They pointed out that earlier someone had filed a petition seeking direction to conduct tests on dead bodies.

"The High Court gave orders in their favour. Taking into consideration the factual situation, the Supreme Court had set aside the High Court orders. But yet, PILs are being filed in the High Court and the High Court is admitting them. With the Court hearing 87 PILs, it is inconvenient for the chief secretary, principal secretary, hospital superintendents concerned when the High Court is summoning them. The precious time of the medical and other senior officials is spent on attending the Court hearings."

"Based on the comments made by the High Court, some media organisations are also reporting in such a way to convey that the state government is not doing anything on the matter. This is shattering the morale of the medical staff who are rendering the services putting their own lives at stake."

According to the statement, the Chief Minister gave a patient hearing to the opinions expressed and directed the officials concerned to file an affidavit in the High Court on conducting the investigative tests, treatment given and precautions taken while administering the treatment, with all facts.

For the High Court hearing, the officials should submit all the information that the Court sought and inform it about the work done, he said.

The High Court on Monday directed six top officials, including the chief secretary, to appear before it on July 28.

The court asked the government to respond why no action should be taken against the officials who are repeatedly ignoring its orders.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Raghavendra Singh Chauhan and Justice B Vijaysen Reddy expressed its unhappiness at the government not implementing orders passed by it on earlier occasions.

"This is the fourth and last chance given to the government ..or else the court would make sure that heads start rolling," the bench remarked.

Tuesday's meeting at the Chief Minister's official residence Pragati Bhavan was attended by the Medical and Health Minister E Rajender, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Principal Secretary (Medical and Health) Syed Murtuza Rizvi, Principal Secretary (Finance) Ramakrishna Rao, several heads of medical departments, Srinivas, Ramesh Reddy, Karunakar Reddy, Gangadhar and others.

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