Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday has directed Secretary (Social Justice and Empowerment), Director (Health), Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shimla and District Welfare Officer of Shimla regarding appear personally before the Court on March 21 to explain why compliance of the orders regarding the inspection of the Leprosy Home situated at Leprosy Colony, Phagli, Shimla and its necessary repair work was not made.        

The orders were passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua on a petition filed by Neeraj Shashwat.

He has alleged that leprosy patients have been allotted a building at Fagli by the government almost a decade ago and since then no maintenance has been undertaken by the state in that building. 

He has further alleged that there is a lack of basic amenities like toilets and proper water facilities.

“The electric fittings are in a dangerous condition, windows and doors are broken, there is leakage in sewerage system due to which patients have to go to the toilet in open” alleged the petitioner.

He further alleged that the matter was taken up with the various authorities but none of them has shown any interest to improve the condition of these deprived people. 

The petitioner had requested to issue directions to the State to provide and maintain the basic amenities in the leprosy colony with immediate effect as the winter season was about to set in.

On January 7, The Court had directed DC Shimla to inspect the said Leprosy Home and ensure necessary repairing work, within a period of four weeks.

During the course of the hearing petitioner’s counsel stated that DC Shimla neither inspected the site personally nor got the repair done.

However, the Additional Advocate General contended that though belatedly but on March 4, the District Welfare Officer, had sent an estimate of Rs. 40 lacs for carrying out the repairing work to the Director, Empowerment of SCs, OBCs, Minorities and the Specially abled, H.P. Shimla. “The repair work of the said leprosy home shall be carried out soon after the sanction of budget,” he said.

The Court observed that the officers of the state are so insensitive towards the people suffering from leprosy staying in a dilapidated home.

“This only shows the lack of concern on the part of the executive to those staying in leprosy home, most of whom are between 60 to 85 years,” said the Court.

The matter has been posted for March 21.