Imphal, June 23,
High Court of Manipur by Judgment / Order dated June 11, 2019 in PIL No. 23 of 2019 has directed the Principal Secretary of Health, Government of Manipur to inquire without any further delay for misuse of public funds in construction of Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Rilram Centre, Tengnoupal, Manipur.
The Primary Health Centre at Rilram Centre is funded by NABARD for Hill District of Manipur right from the year 2011. The Construction and development of the PHC is implemented by the Government of Manipur through an agency called Manipur Development Society. However, even after the lapse of 7 years construction of PHC remain incomplete and abandon by the concerned contractors.
Momo Tantanga, a Social Worker by profession approached the High Court of Manipur by filing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) complaining against the corrupt practice and misuse of public funds in construction and delayed of PHC at Rilram Centre as such the public/villagers of 17 surrounding villages near Rilram Centre are facing untold misery due to lack of Medical Care Centre and PHC/Hospital.
Appearing for the petitioner Advocate S. Thoi Thoi Meitei submits before the High Court by producing several Judgments of Supreme Court of India which confirmed that Right to Health is also a Fundamental Right as held in Consumer Education & Resource Centre –Vs- Union of India and Kirloskar Brother Ltd. – Vs- Employees’ State Insurance Corpn. The State Government is under obligation to provide basic medical facilities and treatment failing which it will amount to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution and liable to pay compensation to the victim and its family as already held by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samity –Vs- State of West Bengal and Mahendra Pratap Singh –Vs- State of Orissa. Further learned Advocate/Counsel of the petitioner also rely on State of Punjab and Ors –Vs- Mohindra Singh Chawala which held that Right to health integral to Right to life and the Government has a Constitutional obligation to provide health facilities.
Having prima facie and considering seriousness of the matter that affect the public health at large, the High Court dispose the PIL at first day of listing/hearing before it by directing the Principal Secretary of Health Department to hold an appropriate inquiry without any further delay and also to take appropriate action by fixing responsibility on the erring officials and concerned contractors as to how the funds has not been properly utilized. The Court also directs to finish the construction of PHC at Rilram Centre with all proper facilities at the earliest.
Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]