Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court: In a Public Interest Litigation (‘PIL’) addressing a severe lapse in fire safety norms which led to a tragic incident at the ‘Baby Care New Born Hospital’ in Vivek Vihar, New Delhi, leading to the death of seven new-borns, the Division Bench of Manmohan, ACJ. and Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, J., directed the State and its authorities to treat the PIL as a representation and to decide it by way of a reasoned order in accordance with law. Further, the Court mandated Respondents 1 and 2 to file an Action Taken Report (‘ATR’) within eight weeks.


The present PIL arises from a tragic incident that took place on the night of 26-05-2024 when a fire broke out at the Baby Care New Born Hospital. The petitioner approached the Court seeking directions to be issued to the respondents to frame a different set of basic norms that could be implemented by smaller hospitals and nursing homes such as to have sprinklers and automatic fire alarms and also to inspect smaller hospitals and nursing homes in Delhi with respect to compliance of already established fire safety norms under the Delhi Fire Service Rules, 2010.

The petitioner pointed out the negligence of the hospital in adhering to fire safety norms and licensing requirements and further cited a news dated 28-05-2024, which revealed that out of approximately 1000 registered hospitals in Delhi, only 196 were in possession of a fire No Objection Certificate (‘NOC’), which evidenced that about 80% of hospitals were operating without adequate fire safety measures, posing a serious threat to life.

The petitioner referred to the Delhi Fire Service Rules, 2010, specifically Rules 27 and 28, which mandated fire NOCs for institutional buildings over nine meters in height or those with ground plus two upper stories, including mezzanine floors, however, smaller hospitals and nursing homes, particularly those in residential areas and under nine meters in height, were not subjected to the same stringent requirements.

The petitioner submitted that a committee chaired by the erstwhile Health Minister had proposed a set of norms for the smaller institutions, including the installation of sprinklers and automatic fire alarms, but such norms were never implemented.

Notably, the counsel for the respondent, representing the State did not oppose the petition. Instead, the State was willing to consider and incorporate just and fair suggestions into the existing fire safety norms.

Decision and Analysis

The Court, taking note of the serious lapses in fire safety compliance highlighted by the petitioner, directed the State to treat the petition as a representation and to decide on it by issuing a reasoned order within four weeks, ensuring that the petitioner was informed of the outcome. Furthermore, the Court mandated Respondents 1 and 2 to file an ATR within eight weeks, detailing the steps taken to address the issues raised in the petition.

The matter would next be listed on 09-08-2024 for monitoring of the ATR.

[Yugansh Mittal v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2024 SCC OnLine Del 4315, Order dated 01-06-2024]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Advocates for the Petitioner: K.C Mittal, Keshaw Punia, Advocates

Advocates for the Respondents: Santosh Kumar Tripathi, SC, Anuj Aggarwal, ASC, Arshya Singh, Mehak Rankawat, Advocates, Shilpa Ohri, ASC

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