Chennai: The MIOT Hospitals denied the charge that its ‘neglience’ had caused the death of 18 patients due to lack of oxygen when its generators were reportedly flooded in the heavy rains last year.
The hospital stated this to the notice issued to it by the court on a petition by social activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy who had levelled various charges against it.
Ramaswamy had charged the hospital with having violated medical rules and not providing mobile or back-up generators or power supply, resulting in the death of 18 patients due to lack of oxygen during the floods last year.
The patients died in the hospital on December 4 allegedly due to flooding of generator room and resultant snap of ventilator and oxygen support.
The hospital had then been running on generator as there was there was no electricity.
Managing Director of MIOT hospitals P V Mohandas in his reply to the first bench, headed by Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundaresh, said there was no neglience on the part of the hospital and the patients had not died of lack of oxygen, as alleged.
He also denied another charge of the petitioner that the Madras Institute of Orthopaedics and Trauma (MIOT) was built near the banks of Adayar river, flouting all rules and said it was constructed 193 meters away.
The First Bench, headed by the CJ, had issued a notice to Tamil Nadu government and MIOT hospitals on a PIL by Traffic Ramaswamy, alleging that the 10-storeyed building was built very close to Adyar river and in a low-lying area.
The petitioner had alleged collusion by top police officials with the hospital management and submitted that an improper case had been registered.
He had also sought a direction to police to initiate criminal action against MIOT Hospitals for ‘willful negligence’ and to authorities to demolish ‘illegally’ constructed buildings.
The MD submitted that an eight-acre property of a private company lies between the hospital and the river and so the charge of the petitioner is not correct.
He also denied the charge that MIOT was in low-lying area and said that as per the certificate given by Airports Authority of India, it was built 10 meters above Mean Sea Level (MSL).
To another charge that construction was not as per the approved plan, MIOT said it was done by a well-known firm Larson and Toubro (L&T), as per approval.
The District Collector, in his counter affidavit, said the hospital was not built on poromboke land and only on patta land and hence the question of encroachment does not arise.
He also submitted that there was no encroachment on water canals, as alleged by the petitioner.
The First Bench posted the matter for further hearing to March 31