After the PMC took strict action against a teacher for a negative response on the availability of a ventilator bed to a call made by the Bombay High Court to the civic body’s helpline, the petitioner’s lawyer has requested the civic administration to deal with the issue in a “compassionate and sympathetic manner”. The lawyer has said if it was the failure of the teacher, then it was a collective failure of the entire system, and that her suspension was “vindictive and high-handed”.
“We are pained to know that the teacher, Asha Patil, was suspended for giving a negative response on the availability of ventilator bed to a call made to the helpline by the Bombay High Court during a hearing on May 12 on the PIL over Covid issues,” said lawyer Rajesh Inamdar, who is representing the petitioner.
He and two other lawyers, Shashwat Anand and Pankaj Khandhari, have written to the PMC requesting it to “deal with the issue in a compassionate and sympathetic manner and not deal with the instant matter in a hostile, overbearing or high-handed and vengeful manner”. They have said such an approach might have “serious repercussions on her emotional or mental equilibrium”. The counsels will also make a similar request to the HC on the next date of hearing on May 27.
Inamdar said the HC was closely monitoring the situation and preparedness of the state with regard to how the pandemic was being handled.
“We have been fortunate enough to assist the court for the same. On May 12, the court desired to assess the emergency response mechanism as to the availability of beds on the PMC website and helpline. This was done with the intention to make sure patients don’t suffer due to lack of or incorrect information and patients in distress are able to secure beds on time. This is evident from the observation of the HC in its order where it observed that the persons answering calls did not have any information with regard to availability of bed and, thereby, directed the PMC to look into such discrepancies and bring about a situation that information provided is realistic and genuine,” he said.
Inamdar said, “The court expressed displeasure at the Covid-combat preparedness, and in no manner expressed any dissatisfaction as to the conduct or response of Asha Patil, person who answered the call, or made any adverse orders against the PMC or its officers.”