Won’t allow use of repaired ventilators: HC

It will be responsibility of Centre to ensure defective ventilators are replaced, says Aurangabad Bench

The Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday said it would not permit the Central government to use ventilators which undergo major repairs for treatment as it could put the lives of patients at risk.

Chief Public Prosecutor D.R. Kale submitted a report before a Division Bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and B.D. Debadwar which stated that a group of 21 experts including members from the manufacturer Jyoti CNC, Rajkot; supplier Hindustan Latex Limited, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, and the Director General of Health Services, AIIMS, Nagpur, had examined the ventilators and found them faulty on multiple counts.

The report also stated that the government hospital in Aurangabad had 269 trained staff to operate the ventilators.

Anil Singh, Additional Solicitor General appearing for the Central government, told the court that two senior doctors from the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and the Safdarjung hospital would visit the government hospital in Aurangabad to inspect the ventilators. He said if the ventilators were found to be dysfunctional even after repairs, the Centre would consider to replace the ventilators.

The Bench noted, “If the ventilators are found to be dysfunctional even after inspection or repairs, the manufacturer would be held liable, and that the Union of India will press for replacement of such ventilators, keeping in view that a one-year manufacturer’s warranty exists for each unit.”

Mr. Singh said the public interest litigation petition was not an adversarial litigation and the Central government would want that patients were treated properly with the aid of ventilators.

The Bench said, “In such a situation, it would be the responsibility of the Union of India to ensure defective ventilators are replaced.”

The court said it would not permit any experiment of ventilators which had undergone major repairs as it could put a patient’s health at risk. “If the use of such ventilators results in the loss of life then it would be the Union of India which will have to take responsibility.” The Bench instructed the government medical college and hospital at Aurangabad to not use the faulty ventilators.

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