DB allows further four weeks’ time to Senior AAG to file response

JAMMU, AUG 10: A Division Bench of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court comprising Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur and Justice Sanjay Kumar Gupta today in the open court extended further four weeks’ time to Senior AAG H.A. Siddiqui appearing for Chief Secretary J&K, Commissioner/Secretary to Govt. of J&K Health and Medical Education Department, Director Health Services Jammu and Secretary J&K Public Service Commission to file their response to the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions to the State Government to provide duly sanctioned staff in all the Health Institutions in Jammu Province as out of 259 PHCs, NPHCs and CHCs in the hilly and remotest areas of all the Districts of Jammu Province, 184 of them are running without Doctors and lacking the staff including the Medical Officers/ Consultants and Para-Medical Staff in Sub-District Hospitals, District Hospitals of entire Jammu Province as disclosed from the information furnished by PIO Directorate of Health Services Jammu.
When this Public Interest Litigation filed by Balwinder Singh a renowned RTI Activist and Convener of Sangharsh RTI Movement seeking directions to the State Government to detach the additional/surplus staff posted in the various health institutions in Jammu City including Directorate of Health Services Jammu came up for hearing, Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed with Advocates Rahul Raina, Suraj Singh and Supriya Chouhan appearing for the petitioner submitted that in Para 28 of the PIL it is clearly submitted that Doctors in Jammu District particularly in Jammu City are surplus and this is the root cause of the failure of health care in the remote areas. Advocate Ahmed further submitted that appropriate directions be issued to the State Government to come forward with the list of Doctors serving in Jammu City and the said list will demonstrate that the influential/ politically connected Doctors are serving in Jammu City for the last more than one decade thereby paralyzing the entire health care in the rural areas.
Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed further drew the attention of the Court to para 27 of the PIL wherein it has been submitted that in Doda District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 211 and the vacant slots are 147 and only 65 Doctors are in position and 1 is surplus. In Kathua District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 257 and the vacant slots are 152 and only 108 Doctors are in position and 3 are surplus. In Kishtwar District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 94 and the vacant slots are 56 and only 41 Doctors are in position and 3 are surplus. In Poonch District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 205 and the vacant slots are 141 and only 64 Doctors are in position. In Rajouri District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 248 and the vacant slots are 146 and only 102 Doctors are in position. In Ramban District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 118 and the vacant slots are 76 and only 43 Doctors are in position and 01 is surplus. In Reasi District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 101 and the vacant slots are 66 and only 37 Doctors are in position and 2 are surplus. In Samba District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 118 and the vacant slots are 30 and only 103 Doctors are in position and 15 are surplus. In Udhampur District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 187 and the vacant slots are 108 and only 80 Doctors are in position and 1 is surplus. In Jammu District the sanctioned strength of Doctors is 454 and the vacant slots are 100 and only 457 Doctors are in position and 103 are surplus.
Advocate S.S. Ahmed appearing for the petitioner further submitted that as per RTI disclosure sanctioned strength of Doctors in Jammu Province is 1993 and only 1100 Doctors are in position, whereas 1022 posts are lying vacant while 129 Doctors are surplus and mostly the surplus Doctors are serving in Jammu District.
On the other hand Senior AAG H.A. Siddiqui appearing for Health and Medical Education Department submitted that the petition has raised issue governing the shortage of Doctors in Rural areas and the State Government is sending the Doctors to rural areas and all out effort is being made to send Doctors from the cities to hilly/ rural areas. The Senor AAG H.A. Siddiqui sought further time to respond to the PIL.
After considering the submissions of both the sides the Division Bench headed by Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur allowed further four weeks’ time to Senior AAG H.A. Siddiqui appearing for Chief Secretary J&K, Commissioner/Secretary to Govt. of J&K Health and Medical Education Department, Director Health Services Jammu and Secretary J&K Public Service Commission to file the response to the PIL. JNF