New Delhi: Muzaffarpur Chief Judicial Magistrate, Suryakant Tiwari on Monday ordered probe against Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan and Bihar Minister Mangal Pandey, in a case of negligence registered against them, in connection with deaths of children in Muzaffarpur due to Acute Encephalitis Syndrome (AES).

Last week, Social activist Tamanna Hashmi had filed the case in the Muzaffarpur Chief Judicial Magistrate’s (CJM) court against the ministers. In the petition, Hashmi alleged that Harsh Vardhan and Mangal Pandey failed to fulfill their duties to control the outbreak of AES, while both had done nothing to create awareness and sensitise people in the affected areas despite the fact that AES had been killing children for years.

“Large number of children died due to negligence and lack of infrastructure to give them timely proper treatment”, he said.

Harsh Vardhan, accompanied by the Union Minister of State for Health Ashwani Kumar Choubey and the Bihar Health Minister had visited the state-owned Sri Krishna Medical College and Hospital (SKMCH) in Muzaffarpur on June 16.

Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court reprimanded Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government over the deaths of 163 children across the state due to AES.

The top court asked the state government to file an affidavit on the questions concerning the adequacy of medicines and nutrition and hygiene amongst others in a week’s time.”This can’t go on, we need answers,” the top court said.