The Supreme Court on Friday refrained from intervening on a petition to examine the shortage of doctors in Bihar after the mass child deaths in Muzaffarpur district.A Bench, led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, was urged by the petitioner, Manohar Pratap, to look into the large number of vacancies. But the Bench refused to do so and the Chief Justice said the judiciary was facing enough challenges in filling judicial vacancies. With this, the court disposed of pleas for directions following the child deaths, including for constitution of a medical board, advertisement of preventive steps and infrastructure improvement. It expressed satisfaction with the steps taken by the government.In a recent affidavit, the Centre informed the court of the constitution of an “inter-disciplinary, high quality” research team to ascertain the cause of the acute encephalitis syndrome (AES) outbreak. It said the decision was taken to “save precious human lives in future”. The government said the AES in Muzaffarpur dated back to 1995.On July 2, the Bihar government said the steps taken by the health authorities had helped to lower the AES fatality rate to 19%, less than the global rate of 30%.