Madras High Court on Wednesday (6th January 2021) issues directions to prevent the spread of dengue in the case of A.P. Suryaprakasam v. State of T.N. & Ors.
By: Megha Ravindran, BBA LLB, Nehru Academy of Law
Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy issued the directions in a writ of mandamus.
Brief of the case
The writ petition was filed for seeking directions on the State Health Department and Municipal Bodies to the widespread cases of dengue infection in different parts of the State in 2009. The State authorities had failed to take appropriate precautions for preventing the spread, because of this reason, the writ of mandamus was filed.
In 2020 also dengue cases were reported in Chennai. During the pandemic situation of coronavirus, the Court must issue appropriate directions on the respondents.
Observation of the court
The Court observed that the issue of dengue is not limited to Chennai alone and it may cover the entire state due to the poor unhygienic conditions of living, water blockage or stagnant water, and breeding of larva.
The court after analyzing the serious conditions, the court issued some directions to the respondents. The directions are as follows :
1. To conduct a meeting of all health departments and Municipal Bodies of principal towns. If physical meetings are not possible then conduct online meetings.
2. Prepare a road map to deal with the dengue.
3. The health departments should seek expert advice and also ensure awareness of spread to the most vulnerable strata.
4. To remove stagnant water and to educate people.
5. Expert Bodies can look into the use of repellents and other chemicals regularly to prevent the spread of dengue and advisories must be issued by the health department.
6. Health department must constantly monitor the implementation of the scheme.
7. Secretary, Health Department to file a report in 8 weeks.
8. File a status report indicating steps taken in clearing railway platforms in and around the city and other areas where vehicles are parked resulting in water stagnation.
9. Areas occupied by fishermen must be given special attention.
10. Explore the possibilities of developing a vaccine.