DCW asks Delhi Police to start criminal prosecution against authorities over death of 21 children
New Delhi (PTI) The DCW asked Delhi Police Tuesday to initiate criminal prosecution against state health department officials and hospital authorities over the death of 21 children allegedly due to non-availability of diphtheria vaccine.
Last year in September, 21 children died due to diphtheria at a civic hospital in north Delhi. The deaths were reported at the Maharishi Valmiki Infectious Diseases Hospital at Kingsway Camp.
Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal said it is clear that the deaths of the children could have been prevented had the vaccine been procured in a timely manner.
Instead, the North MCD dragged its feet in the matter and for over nine months, there was no vaccine available in the hospital. Further, acute infrastructural issues highlighted raise serious concerns on the intent and sincerity of hospital authorities and it may be the case that funds meant for upkeep and upgradation of the hospital were mismanaged,” Maliwal said in the notice.
Therefore, it is clear that the deaths of the children were a direct result of criminal negligence and seemingly corrupt conduct of North Municipal Corporation of Delhi authorities, she said in the notice to the Joint Commissioner of Police Northern Range, Delhi Police.
In view of the above, it is important that an FIR under relevant sections of the law for criminal negligence and mismanagement is immediately registered in the matter against the health department officials and MVID Hospital authorities and a proper investigation is undertaken in the matter, she said.
She asked Delhi Police to provide an action taken report in the matter latest by January 31, failing which appropriate action shall be initiated as per law.
The commission has instituted an inquiry into the matter and in this regard notices were issued to the North MCD.