Decided on September 14,2016

Devika Biswas Appellant
UNION OF INDIA Respondents


MADAN B.LOKUR,J. - (1.) This public interest petition raises very important issues concerning the entire range of conduct and management, under the auspices of State Governments, of sterilization procedures wherein women and occasionally men are sterilized in camps or in accredited centres. The issues raised also include pre-operation procedures and post-operative care or lack of it. A sterilization surgery does not appear to be complicated and yet several deaths have taken place across the country over the years. Undoubtedly, this needs looking into by the Government of India and the State Governments and remedial and corrective steps need to be taken. Persons who are negligent in the performance of their duties must be held accountable and the victims and their family provided for. It is time that women and men are treated with respect and dignity and not as mere statistics in the sterilization program.
(2.) The petitioner Devika Biswas is a public spirited individual of Araria district in Bihar. She is a health rights activist with extensive professional experience in the development and health sectors. She has worked in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Jharkhand and Bihar in her capacity as a health rights activist. She has also been associated with the Integrated Child Development Scheme in Bihar and has published articles and books in her field of specialization.
(3.) Sometime in 2005 the issue of sterilization procedures for females and males under the Population Control and Family Planning program or the Public Health program of the Government of India came up for consideration before this Court in a petition filed by Ramakant Rai. The petition was substantially decided by this Court on 1st March 2005 by passing several directions. The directions are reported as Ramakant Rai (I) & Anr. v. Union of India & Ors.(2009) 16 SCC 565;

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