Orissa High Court has appointed a three-member advocates Committee for ascertaining the living conditions and making available medical facilities for leprosy patients living in Leprosy colonies in the State.
The division bench comprising of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice S.K. Panigrahi was hearing to a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) which claimed directions to the State’s concerned authorities to take effective measures for the implementation of the National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) and also to appoint a high-level committee to submit a report.
The Court observed that “No clear picture has emerged on the exact number of leprosy-affected persons in the State of Odisha, district-wise as of date. There is no clarity on the facilities available in every district to leprosy affected persons and whether the various interventions by the State and the Centre have had any positive impact and have resulted in a reduction of the incidence of leprosy.”
Therefore, the Court composed a three members committee comprising of Senior Advocate Gautam Mishra, Advocates B.P. Tripathy and Pami Rath. They have been assigned the responsibility of paying a visit to these societies and interact with the inmates and ascertain the issues faced by them.
The committee is responsible to find out whether the NLEP interventions and the programmes initiated by the State government have had a positive impact on them or not.
“The Committee will try and interact with independent health professionals for their perspectives, inputs and suggestions, which can be incorporated in the report”, the Court directed.
The matter is scheduled for being heard on 2nd September.