Srinagar: The J&K High Court has directed government to pay directly to Apollo hospital authorities in Chennai the expenses on the treatment of acid attack victim by April 27.
In case of failure to comply with its orders, a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and B S Walia directed the state’s chief secretary to appear in person before it on next date of hearing.
“The respondent authorities have failed to comply with the orders dated 24 February and 10 March, 2015,” the bench observed while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Kashmir High Court Bar Association days after the grievous acid attack on the 22-year-old law student at Nowshera area in the outskirts of this summer capital of the state on December 11 last year.
By virtue of the orders, Court had directed state government to make direct payment to the hospital authorities where the victim was undergoing second phase of the treatment.
“It appears that respondent authorities have not exhibited the required urgency in seeking the information from the authorities of the Apollo Hospital, Chennai,” the bench said.
Additional Advocate General, R A Khan requested court to grant two weeks time so as to enable the authorities to comply with the orders.
“In the facts and circumstances of this case, we extend time by two weeks for compliance of the court orders, failing which (Chief Secretary) to appear in person on the next date,” the court said and directed the listing of the PIL in the week commencing April 27.
On February 24, Advocate Mian Qayoom, representing the lawyers’ body, told the court that the hospital authorities have informed the victim that the expected expenditure for second phase treatment would be Rs. 13 lakhs.
“The state to confirm about the same and pay the required amount directly to the authorities of the hospital,” the court had said.
Earlier on December 30, the court had asked government to seek information from hospital authorities about the amount which has been spent and would require to be spent on the treatment the victim.
On her first phase of treatment, the state has already provided over Rs 7 lakh to the victim.
Police has already arrested two persons, Irshad Ahmad Wani alias Sunny and Mohammad Omar, for their alleged involvement in the attack.
The duo has been charged under Section 326B (voluntarily throwing acid) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the RPC.
Under Section 326B, an accused if convicted can be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years but which may extend to seven years. The accused shall also be liable to pay compensation adequate to meet at least the medical expenses incurred by the victim.