There’s shortage of judges, water, sunlight too: Supreme Court on filling doctor vacancies

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea related to the treatment of children suffering from Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES) in Bihar's Muzaffarpur. Asking the petitioners


“There are vacancies for judges, doctors, ministers, Rajya Sabha members, even water and sunlight everywhere but we can’t fill them up all,” said the Supreme Court on Friday as it drew curtains on a clutch of PILs over the death of several children in Bihar due to encephalitis.


A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi made these observations as one of the lawyers pointed out that there is a shortage of 57 per cent of doctors in Bihar.

The lawyer tried to persuade the top court that some directives could be issued to fill up huge vacancies of doctors and nurses in the state of Bihar, but the argument did not cut ice with the Bench, which also included Justice Deepak Gupta.

“There is a vacancy of doctors in Bihar. So what should do? Should we start filling up vacancies? What are you trying to suggest? ” Justice Gogoi asked advocate Manohar Pratap.

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As Pratap sought indulgence of the court, the CJI added: “We are already trying to fill up vacancies of judges and we only know how much success we have had. We aren’t going to do it for doctors now. We can’t.”

The AES appears to be the root cause of deaths, the SC observed. While closing the PILs related to Bihar encephalitis deaths, the top court expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the Centre and Bihar government.

Subsequently, the bench wrapped up the proceedings in the matter, expressing satisfaction over the steps being taken by the Centre and state government to control the disease and provide medical assistance.

For other reliefs, including on the issue of vacancies, the bench said the petitioners could move the Patna High Court in appropriate proceedings.