CHENNAI: The orders of Salem Corporation imposing penalties on a local hospital and an individual for failing to keep premises clean, which resulted in the breeding of mosquitoes, were set aside by Madras High Court.
The impugned notices served on October 22 and 25 on the petitioners showed that no prior opportunity was given before imposition of fine. Admittedly, there was violation of principles of natural justice as the fine amount was directly imposed upon the petitioner and not in accordance with the statute and that the authorities in both the writ petitions did not follow the procedures contemplated under the Tamil Nadu Public Health Act, 1939. “Hence, the orders impugned in both the writ petitions are interfered with and the same are set aside,” Justice S Vaidyanathan said.
The judge was allowing two writ petitions, one from Shanmuga Hospital and Cancer Institute on Sarada College Road and the other from S Sundaresan, on November 1. The notices may be taken as a show cause notices, issued under Section 83 of the Act. If remedial measures are not taken, the authorities in both the writ petitions, are empowered to proceed further. The petitioners shall reply to the impugned order within 24 hours.
If no reply is received by then, it is open to the authorities to inspect the premises and take photographs and videographs, to establish the stance. The judge also directed the hospital to rectify the defects and maintain its premises neat and tidy, as an unhealthy atmosphere will not only affect patients, but also the staff. The authorities shall restore water supply to the hospital, taking into account the welfare of the in-patients .
The judge also gave a set of 12 suggestions that were advised by the authorities regarding prevention of dengue. They included breeding of Minnow fish, which would eat the larvae. The judge, however, stated that these suggestions are only illustrations and not exhaustive.