The Supreme Court on Monday directed the Centre to bring two teenaged conjoint twins from Bihar by air ambulance to Delhi for treatment at All India Institute of Medical Sciences.
A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and Dipak Misra granted 10 days time to the Centre to make arrangements for bringing to the capital 16-year-olds Saba and Farah Saleem.
The apex court on July 16 had asked the Centre to form a medical board to provide treatment to the twins observing that 'the acute agony of the girls would shock anybody's Conscience'.
The court's order had come on a Public Interest Litigation by Aarushi Dhasmana, a second year law student from Pune, seeking medical aid for the girls.
Quoting newspaper reports, the petition filed through counsel Ravi Prakash Gupta, had said the two grown up twins joined at the head are undergoing immense pain and are unable to even sleep due to consistent acute pain.
While seeking medical aid at government's expenditure, the PIL said if it is not possible, the parents be permitted to adopt 'mercy killing' for the twins. Saba and Farah have been bedridden and are experiencing persistent, acute agony and distress and are neither able to sleep adequately nor get up from their bed and this has made their lives miserable, said Dhasmana's petition.
It said the twins' father, Mohammad Shakeel, a tea stall owner in Patna, who is distressed by their growing sufferings, had pleaded for mercy killing for his twins last year. Gupta had said an expert team headed by Dr Benjamin Carson about five years ago had opined that separating Saba and Farah would require five or six operations, spread over nine months, but each stage held a one-in-five chance that either of the girls might die.
The twins' family had decided against the surgery, despite Abu Dhabi's crown prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed offering to pay for it, the petition had said.
A team under Dr Carson, a United States specialist, had found that they shared a vital blood vessel in the brain, and that Farah had two kidneys, while Saba had none, it added.
The petition said 'due to lack of sufficient financial resources, their family has been unable to provide them with adequate medical treatment and facilities'.