RAIPUR: Chhattisgarh government on Wednesday accepted the report of the one-member judicial commission, headed by retired District & Sessions Judge Anita Jha, which has concluded that the death of 13 women at sterilization camps in Bilaspur in November 2014 were caused due to two reasons-distribution of substandard and poisonous drugs and medical negligence.

Tragedy had stuck the sterilisation camps, organised by the health department, at Sakri and at Gaurella, Pendra and Marwahi, all in Bilaspur district. The findings of the judicial commission are mostly on the anticipated lines as state government had subsequently cracked down on drug manufacturing companies after some antibiotics were found substandard and also on doctors who had conducted the surgeries. While 13 women had died, 122 others were left ailing after the botched surgeries.

The main doctor at the camp, Dr RK Gupta had in fact conducted 83 sterilisation operations at the Takhtpur health camp within a short span of three and half hours, spending just two and half minutes on each surgery. Dr Gupta was subsequently arrested.

Initial test reports conducted on the antibiotics, Ciprocin, distributed at the camp, had confirmed presence of rat poison (Zinc Phosphide). The police had subsequently booked the directors of Mahawar Pharmaceutical and Kavita Pharma Company under charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder (Sec 304 IPC). Interestingly, lab reports from other labs in Delhi and Mumbai had concluded that while the medicines were substandard, there was no poison in it.

The judicial commission report, which was taken up at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, will now be tabled in Vidhan Sabha in the next session. The cabinet has decided that stringent disciplinary action, as applicable under the law, would be taken against concerned officials of the health and family welfare department and the drug manufacturers and suppliers of substandard and poison contaminated medicines (Ciprocin 500 and ibrufen 400) distributed in the sterilization camps.

The cabinet has also accepted all the recommendation of the commission regarding precautions that need to be taken in order to prevent such tragedies in future.