Hospital blaze: NHRC seeks reports from Maharashtra, Labour ministry

New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday sought a report from the Maharashtra government on the death of eight people in a fire at a hospital in Mumbai, while not ruling out negligence by the hospital administration.

Taking cognizance of the Monday blaze at the Employees State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) Hospital in Andheri East, the Commission issued a notice to the Chief Secretary calling for a detailed report including the outcome of the probe “reportedly mentioned by the city Mayor”.

“The Commission would like to know whether the building has a valid ‘No Objection Certificate’ from the Fire Department and whether the fire audit was conducted. A report from the DGP, Maharashtra, is also expected to intimate about registration of an FIR, if any, and status thereof,” the NHRC said in a statement.

Observing that “the possibility of negligence by the hospital administration cannot be ruled out in the incident”, the Commission has also sought a report from the Union Ministry of Labour and Employment under whose jurisdiction the hospital falls.

In its notice to the Secretary, Union Ministry of Labour and Employment, the NHRC called for a detailed report in the matter within four weeks, including action taken against the guilty and steps taken/ proposed to be taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur.

“The Commission has also observed that the patients, who generally approach the ESIC hospitals, belong to economically weaker sections, employed with various private sector units, who cannot afford treatment at private hospitals,” it added.

Reports say over 150 people were also injured in the incident, of which 25 are critical.