ECMO at district hospitals: Orissa HC junks PIL

The division bench comprising Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice SK Panigrahi said,

Published: 25th June 2021 10:06 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th June 2021 10:06 AM   |  A+A-

Orissa High Court

Orissa High Court. (File Photo)

By Express News Service

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has dismissed Berhampur-based Bharatiya Bikash Parishad’s PIL seeking direction for purchase of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines by the State government for treatment of critical Covid - 19 patients at district headquarters hospitals (DHHs) and Covid care centres.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice SK Panigrahi said, “This is yet another PIL filed by the same petitioner within a short span of one month purely on the basis of press reports without undertaking any in depth study of the issue involved. This petition appears to project the personal view of the president of the petitioner organisation that it is more important to procure ECMO machines to tackle the Covid pandemic than procuring and distributing face masks to the public. These personal views are of course not backed by any scientific or medical studies.” 

The bench, while dismissing the petition further stated, “The petitioner’s counsel further submits that the Local Area Development funds placed at the discretion of the MLAs should be used not for the purpose earmarked viz, procuring and distributing face masks but on procuring ECMO machines for every district hospital. There is not even an attempt by the counsel for the petitioner to consider whether such prayers are within the permissible limits of judicial intervention.” 

The bench however allowed the petitioner’s counsel the liberty to first undertake a thorough study, both of scientific and medical literature, on the issue, gather relevant empirical facts and present them in an objective manner, in a fresh petition, and narrowly tailor the reliefs sought conscious of  the permissible limits of judicial intervention.

On June 10, the court had dismissed a PIL filed by Bharatiya Bikash Parishad seeking direction to the State government for installation of CCTV cameras and display boards in all the Covid-19 hospitals to make the treatment of Corona patients more transparent and accountable to public.


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