NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday said that it was beyond its competence to fill the vacancies of doctors for providing treatment to children suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar.
This observation, by a bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, came when it was told that that 57 per cent posts of doctors were vacant in Bihar.
"There are vacancies for judges, doctors, ministers, Rajya Sabha members, even water and sunlight everywhere but we can't fill them up all," the bench said.
The petitioner requested the apex court to issue some directions to fill up huge vacancies of doctors and nurses in the state of Bihar.
The court, however, said: "There is a vacancy of doctors in Bihar. So what should we do? Should we start filling up vacancies? What are you trying to suggest?"
Noting that AES appears to be the root cause of recent child deaths in the state, the apex court expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the Centre and the Bihar government in controlling the disease.
The court's response came on a public suit filed over the outbreak of AES, which claimed the lives of more than 140 children in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district.
The plea filed by two advocates, Manohar Pratap and Sanpreet Singh Ajmani, contended that the state and Central governments should work in tandem to immediately arrange 500 intensive care units (ICUs) with required medical professionals to deal with the situation.