Human Rights Law Network


Media Reports

Family planning deaths must not go unpunished

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Colin Gonsalves

Last week, the criminal trial of the surgeon who conducted laparoscopic tubectomies which resulted in the deaths of 13 women in Chhattisgarh was quashed by the Chhattisgarh High Court. After telling the Supreme Court in Devika Biswas’ case — a PIL filed by a social activist — that the prosecution would be conducted properly once the case ended, the State government assisted the doctor by refusing to grant sanction for prosecution. As a result, the prosecution was quashed.

On November 8, 2014, the surgeon and an assistant performed over 80 surgeries within 90 minutes at a State-run family planning camp, in an abandoned building near Bilaspur. Within 24 hours, many of the women began complaining of abdominal pain. Thirteen women died while 65 others were injured.

The State government responded petulantly to the Supreme Court’s decision of 2016 in Devika Biswas’ case — where the court had criticised governments for the manner in which sterilisation camps were run — by threatening to stop all such sterilisation operations in the rural areas. Women are now being forced to approach the prohibitively expensive private sector.

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Drug price regulation saved Rs 4,988cr in 2 yrs: Govt

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TNN | Jul 29, 2016 

Highlights

  • Various drug price regulatory measures by the government has helped consumers save Rs 4,988 crore over the last 2 years.
  • Government has capped prices of essential medicines at least three times since 2013.

NEW DELHI: Various drug price regulatory measures by the government helped consumers save Rs 4,988 crore over the last two years, Rajya Sabha was told on Thursday. Following approval of the pharmaceutical pricing policy in 2012, the government has capped prices of essential medicines at least three times since 2013, when the policy was first implemented by the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority through the Drugs Price Control Order (DPCO), 2013.

According to chemicals and fertilizers minister Ananth Kumar, the drug price regulator NPPA had initially brought 530 essential medicines under price control, giving consumers a benefit of Rs 2,422 crore.

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SC Allows Rape Victim To Terminate 24-Week Pregnancy In Mumbai

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NEW DELHI -- The Supreme Court on Monday allowed a petitioner, who is a rape victim, to medically terminate her 24 week pregnancy as the abnormalities in foetus have been confirmed by the report of the Medical Board.

The medical report says continuation with the pregnancy may gravely endanger the physical and the medical health of the petitioner. In the last hearing, the apex court constituted a Medical Board of doctors of the KEM Hospital Mumbai to examine the petitioner. The petitioner is a rape survivor and had sought the permission from the Supreme Court as under the present law, a foetus older than 20 weeks can't be aborted, unless it is necessary to save the life of the mother.

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SC allows disability quota in promotions for government jobs

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People with disabilities are entitled to reservation in promotion for government jobs, the Supreme Court has ruled, clearing a major hurdle for millions who face difficulties and discrimination in professional and personal life.

The top court decision breaks away from a string of recent judgments – the latest in March -- that said the government wasn’t bound to give reservation in job promotions to scheduled castes and tribes. Under a 1995 law, the government identifies 3% jobs as suitable for persons with disabilities (PWD) but doesn’t enforce the same quota in promotions. This meant disabled people could not be appointed to government posts that are meant to be filled up by promotion only.

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Victims’ families in north-east hail AFSPA directive

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Human rights activists and family members of the 1,528 missing persons have welcomed the Friday’s Supreme Court directive regarding 62 missing persons. Meihoubam Rakesh, director of the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN), which had filed the petition relating to the 1528 cases told The Hindu that he welcomed the order. However he said justice could be meted out expeditiously if there was a fast track system instead of the conventional method.

When the cases were brought up, the Supreme Court had selected six cases randomly and one of them was the case of Azad Khan (12), a class VII student. How could a 12-year-old student be a terrorist, an apex court judge wanted to know.

Azad was reading a newspaper in a neighbour's verandah on March 4, 2009 waiting for his friend to go to school, when police commandos and some army personnel raided nearby houses. Some of them beat up the boy and frogmarched him to the nearby field while parents and others followed them pleading to set him free since he was innocent.

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HRLN is a division of the Socio-Legal Information Centre (SLIC). SLIC is a non-profit legal aid and educational organization, registered under the Registration of Societies Act, 1860, Indian Public Trust Act, 1950 and the Foreign Contributions (Regulation) Act, 1976.