Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendra Jain of the Aam Aadmi Party has been fined 25,000 rupees by an angry Supreme Court for failing to submit a list of government officials that he has alleged have not cooperated with him on controlling chikungunya and dengue in the capital.
“People are dying. You don’t need 24 hours,” said the top court, when told by the Delhi government that it had not been able to file an affidavit as ordered by the court and would do so today.
As Delhi grapples with a major health crisis with around 8,000 cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya and dengue reported, Satyendar Jain had in his response to the court alleged that officials were hindering his attempts to curb the viral diseases, and were instead sending files to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.
On Friday the Supreme Court had asked the minister to list the names of the officers allegedly not cooperating with him, saying,”You have made a serious allegation in your affidavit. Who are the officials disobeying you? People in Delhi are suffering from dengue and chikungunya. You cannot treat them like this.”
The court also said that the Delhi government need not give it the names of the officials in sealed cover.
Mr Jain’s complaint was in response to the Supreme Court’s query on what was being done check the diseases, which have claimed at least 10 lives in the capital this season. The court has taken up the matter suo motu or on its own.
The Centre has told the court it is the duty of the Delhi government to ensure that the national capital remains clean and free from diseases like chikungunya and dengue.
Mr Jain’s boss Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been engaged in a bitter power tussle with the Centre and its representative in the capital Lieutenant General Najeeb Jung ever since his AAP swept the Delhi assembly elections last year and formed government in the state.