Supreme Court Seeks LG's Response On Delhi Govt Plea To Implement 'Farishtey Dilli Ke' Scheme For Accident Victims
The Supreme Court on Friday (08.12.2023) sought the response of Delhi's Lieutenant Governor in a plea filed by the Delhi Government (GNCTD) for re-operationalization of the 'Farishtey' scheme by releasing pending hospital bills and making timely payments to private hospitals. The 'Farishtey Dilli Ke' scheme was introduced by the AAP government to provide free treatment to victims of...
The Supreme Court on Friday (08.12.2023) sought the response of Delhi's Lieutenant Governor in a plea filed by the Delhi Government (GNCTD) for re-operationalization of the 'Farishtey' scheme by releasing pending hospital bills and making timely payments to private hospitals. The 'Farishtey Dilli Ke' scheme was introduced by the AAP government to provide free treatment to victims of road accidents, which has been defunct for over a year due to non payment of bills. The plea also seeks disciplinary action against officials responsible for halting the operation of the scheme.
Senior Advocate Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government told the Court today, 'this is rather unfortunate. Look at the figures , 23000 cases have been covered under the scheme. I keep writing and and begging, but they stopped payments'.
'How is health department under the LG? Just because services is under you, you run health also? This is completely social welfare, there is no politics in this' he said.
A bench of Justice BR Gavai and Justice Sudhanshu Dhulia issued notice in the plea filed by the Delhi Government. The matter has been posted after Christmas vacation of the Court.
'We don't understand, one wing of the government is fighting with another wing of the government', Justice Gavai remarked during the hearing.
'Farishtey' is a welfare scheme of the AAP Government to ensure free, cashless treatment to victims of road accidents in the nearest government or private hospital in case of an accident. These hospitals are then reimbursed by the Delhi Arogya Kosh at Ayushman Bharat Health Benefit Package Rates 2.0. Approximately 23,000 road accident victims have been provided cashless treatment in private hospitals under the scheme, the Delhi Government's plea states.
The Delhi Government has informed the Apex Court that the scheme has become defunct for more than a year since payments to many hospitals are pending. According to the plea, there is a pending payment of Rs. 7.17 Crores with respect to 42 private hospitals.
"..the hospitals are now reluctant to accept accident victims and this scheme has practically become defunct for more than a year since payments to majority of the hospitals have not been made. This has had a catastrophic impact on the medical aid available to victims of road accident, and lives are being lost on the streets for want of timely and effective treatment" the plea states.
Despite oral and written directions by the Health Department of the GNCTD regarding clearance of pending bills of the private hospitals, the Defaulting Officials have failed to take action, the plea says. The plea has thus sought for disciplinary action to be taken against the Defaulting Officials stating that their 'illegal insubordination' has caused the loss of lives and rendered the directives of an elected Government meaningless.
In view of the 2023 Amendment to the GNCTD Act, 1991, the Delhi Government has no power to take action in this regard against the Defaulting Officials and only the LG either acting on the recommendation of the National Capital Civil Services Authority or in his sole discretion can take action, the plea contends. Because of this, the Delhi Government is unable to re-operationalise the scheme, the plea states.
The Delhi Chief Minister had written to the LG on the issue, but has not received any response, the Delhi Government has informed the Court in its plea.
Case Title: Government Of NCT Of Delhi V. Office Of The Lieutenant Governor Of NCT Of Delhi And Ors, W.P.(C) No. 1352/2023