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Bombay HC Directs State, BMC To Set Up Helpline For Pregnant Women Post Lockdown

HC issued direction after a petitioner brought to the notice of the court that a pregnant woman had to opt for homebirth as she was turned away by 3 hospitals.


Bombay High Court, on Friday, asked the Maharashtra government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to consider starting a helpline for pregnant women after the lockdown ends.

Bombay HC issues directive

The directive was given by a bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice S S Shinde after a PIL was filed by advocate Mohiuddin Vaid, who had cited a report which stated that a pregnant woman was denied admission to JJ hospital on April 27 since she did not have a COVID-19 negative report. 

The state argued that pregnant women were given admission in hospitals throughout the lockdown post the incident on April 27 and that there were no administrative errors. Anil Sakhare, who represented BMC said the helpline number (1916) was available for all patients, including pregnant women.

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BMC's affidavit, filed in the court read, "there have been 3905 deliveries in March, 4169 deliveries in April and about 2412 deliveries till the date of affirmation of the affidavit, of which about 359 patients tested positive for COVID-19. Such COVID-19 positive patients have been treated in special facilities.”

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The court, on the other hand, said, "The number of deliveries performed during the past three months provides reason to hold that the contentions urged by Sakhare and Chavan are sound and that there has not been any reported incident of negligence does not call for judicial intervention on this PIL petition.”

“We, therefore, dispose of this PIL petition expressing hope and trust that the state and Corporation shall continue in its efforts to ensure that expecting ladies are well attended to even in these testing times and that maximum care is taken so that not only the mother but the newborn child does not face difficulties till such time normalcy is restored.”

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