KOCHI: The High Court on Tuesday observed the state machinery had failed to step in and offer relief to citizens who were driven to poverty due to medical expenses of family members, especially when large amounts of public revenue was spent for social uplift and redressal of human rights and causes.
The court made the observation while considering a petition filed by a Malappuram native running from pillar to post to provide treatment to his young children. The petitioner had taken a loan for meeting the treatment expenses and the bank had now initiated action under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Securities Interest Act.
He moved the court seeking leniency to allow him to pay off the loan slowly. The court said the duties and obligations of the state to take care of its citizens, particularly those unable to take care of themselves due to various factors, including penury, were constitutionally imperative. As there was no other alternative, many were forced to seek financial assistance through the media, thus virtually approaching the public with a begging bowl. Such calls, made via papers and television, were often heartbreaking.
The court opined in cases where people were pushed into deep distress and pathos on account of unbearable medical expenses for members of the family, including children, the state machinery should involve and give humanistic support to citizens so that can live with at least the minimum required human dignity and respect.
The court directed the government to file an affidavit explaining the measures that are available to offer support to citizens in distress.With regard to the petitioner, the court directed the Malappuram District Collector to entrust an officer to visit their house and ascertain his family’s plight, including the treatment of his children, and file a report within two weeks.