Sandesh Bansal v. Union of India and Others [ Writ Petition No. 9061/2008 ]

Country India
Category Right to Health
Date of Judgment 10-02-2012
Link / Attachment
  • Description

    High maternal mortality in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. The petitioner alleged that the state’s program to reduce the maternal mortality rate (MMR) had failed to be implemented effectively in Madhya Pradesh. The petitioner had filed this petition, alleging that about 75,000 to 150,000 women die every year in India after giving birth. The petitioner pointed to Madhya Pradesh’s third highest MMR out of all Indian states of 498 deaths per 100,000 live births as evidence of the program’s failure.

    The petitioner contended that women are dying because of the high costs of health care and failure of public health system, lack of qualified medical staff in rural areas, lack of appropriate transport, inappropriate policies in institutional deliveries, and cultural and social reasons that limit pregnant women’s access to effective health care.




  • Judgment

    The Court held that there was shortage of infrastructure and manpower that has resulted in the ineffective implementation of the program resulting in unnecessary deaths of mothers. The court held that the inability of a mother to survive pregnancy and child birth violated her right to life as guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. The Court recommended a number of measures and required the government to implement in a strict and timely manner the implementation plan. The Court noted that it did not provide a time period for implementation as that was already included in the plan.

    (Excerpt from the judgement)

    We therefore, recommend following measure to be taken up in the earnest: At Sub-Centres and PHC Level and CHC/District Level- 

    1. At Panchayat the 24 hours availability of trained woman as ASHA/Community Health Worker. 

    2. Two Auxiliary Nurse Mid-Wives at each Sub-Health Centre. 

    3. Three Staff-Nurses at the Primary Health Centre to ensure round the clock service therein.

    4. Strengthen the Outpatient Services through posting/appointment of AYUSH doctors besides regular Medical Officers. 

    5. Uninterrupted Electricity -oply and the water supply to the Sub-Centres and Public 1 alth Centres. 

    6. Ensure proper modern sanitation. 

    7. Ensure that, in all 227 Community Health Centres In the State of Madhya Pradesh the availability of 24 hours delivery services including normal and assisted deliveries. It has 30-50 beds. To be equipped with man and machine at par with Indian Public Health Standards, which would include Essential and Emergency Obstetric Care Unit, so that round the clock hospital like services are available.

    8. Ensure availability of vehicle round the clock under Janani Express Yojna.

    9. Ensure that every pregnant women and new born is vaccinated with Tetanus, BCG, Polio, DPT etc. 

    10. Form Village Health and Sanction Committee in all villages.

    11. Ensure that at Block Level Regular Camps are held for Jan Sunwai which would include the Sarpanch, Doctors posted within the Block. 

    12. To set up all 87 Rogi Kalyan Samitis. 

    13. Constitute Monitoring Committee at District and Block Level and ensure complete documentation of each and every patient.

    14. Fix the time bound Schedule of respective Sub-Centres, PHC, CHCs, and the District Hospital. These measures though not exhaustive are in addition to the stipulations in PIP 2006-2012‚Äč