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Shifting of conjoined twins: NCST issues notice to AIIMS, health secy

Shifting of conjoined twins: NCST issues notice to AIIMS, health secy
New Delhi: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has issued notice to the Union health secretary and director of AIIMS, New Delhi over a petition that seeks to prevent the shifting of the conjoined twins from Odisha, who were separated after a surgery, from the premier medial institute here to its Bhubaneswar branch.
The petition has been filed by Supreme Court lawyer and human rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy. The petition claims that AIIMS, Bhubaneswar does not have the infrastructure required for the care and treatment of the twins -- Jaga and Balia.The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has now asked the health ministry and AIIMS to submit the facts and information on the action taken on the matter within 15 days.
"A petition/complaint has been received by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes from Radhakanta Tripathy and the commission has decided to investigate and inquire into the matter, in pursuance of the powers conferred upon it under Article 338A of the Constitution of India.
"You are hereby requested to submit the facts and information on the action taken on the allegations/matters to the undersigned within 15 days of receipt of this notice either by post or in person or by any other means of communication," the notice read.
It further stated that in case the commission did not receive the reply within the stipulated time, it might exercise the powers of a civil court and issue summons for the appearance in person or by a representative before it.
Earlier this month, the NHRC had written to the AIIMS director, seeking information on the issue.
The petition said the twins from Milipada village in Odisha's Kandhamal region were likely to be sent back to the state, but the Odisha government was not "equipped" to treat the 31-month-old boys, who underwent a surgery at the AIIMS here for the separation.
"The state government is not well equipped for their treatment in the state. Had that been the case, the operation could have been done in the state itself," Tripathy said in his petition.
It added that the health condition of the twins, who have been staying at the AIIMS since the operation along with their parents, had to improve further before they could be sent to Odisha.
"Once they...(are) sent back to Odisha, where the infrastructure and ancillary and incidental facilities are lacking, there shall be an imminent threat to their lives.
"The facts and circumstances of the case also pose questions regarding the right to health and basic human rights of not only the kids, but the entire family," the petitioner said, adding that unless the commission intervened, the "poor, uneducated ST family shall be deprived of justice".
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