DEVIKA BISWAS Vs. UNION OF INDIA
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
UNION OF INDIA
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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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