Days After It Slammed Gujarat Govt on Covid Crisis, HC Bench Changed

“Is Gujarat govt aware of the hard fact that patients at the Civil Hospital are dying due to the inadequate number of ventilators?”: HC bench had said.

Ahemdabad| On May 22, a division bench headed by Justice J B Pardiwala of Gujarat High Court come down heavily on state govt and compared the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to a dungeon.

In a subsequent order of May 25, the same bench said it would pay a visit to the hospital, declining to give the state government a clean chit.

Following, the bench was changed for Friday listing of matters.

As notified on Thursday, the new bench will now be headed by the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice Vikram Nath, while Justice Pardiwala will be the junior judge in the bench.

The Gujarat high court severely criticised the state government led by BJP’s Vijay Rupani for trying to “artificially control” the COVID-19 epidemic and termed the civil hospital in Ahmedabad as “good as a dungeon, maybe even worse.”

The Civil Hospital in the state has so far recorded over 377 COVID-19 deaths, which is 45% of the total deaths in the state.

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Last week, the earlier bench of Justice J.B. Pardiwala and Justice Ilesh Vora had in a 143-page order on a PIL described Gujarat as “one of the worst affected states in the country” and said the state’s health minister “does not seem to be aware of what’s going on”, it said.

The state of Gujarat is the home of PM Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, whose ministry is the nodal agency in the handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

On Thursday, the number of COVId-19 infections in Gujarat surged to 15,562 while the death toll nears 1,000, the state health department said.

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