The Bombay High Court while hearing a public interest litigation alleging that certain private hospitals are taking advantage of the prevailing pandemic and are charging for Personal Protective Equipment Kits much above the purchase price, sought an affidavit in reply from the State within seven days.
Division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Sarang Kotwal heard the PIL filed by Advocate Abhijeet Mangade who contended that private hospitals and nursing homes are charging for PPE kits, N-95 masks etc much above the procurement costs. He prayed for directions to the State to impose a cap on prices of PPE kits charged to both Covid and Non-Covid patients admitted in such hospitals.
The petitioner contended that his mother was admitted in Thane's Jupiter hospital on June 21 and six days later a bill of Rs.72,000 for PPE kits and gloves was issued. Another example cited in the PIl is that of Punamiya Hospital in Dadar where a patient was charged Rs.16,500 for PPEkits after three days of being admitted.
GP PP Kakade along with AGP Nina Mehra appeared on behalf of the State, the petitioner appeared in person and Advocates Ish Jain, Kiran Jain and Amruta Thakur for Punamiya Hospital and none appeared for Jupiter hospital.
"The issue raised by the petitioner deserves consideration after inviting the parties to file their respective affidavits-in-reply. Let such affidavits-in-reply be filed by seven days; rejoinder thereto, if any, may be filed by two days thereafter."
The next date of hearing in the matter is August 7, 2020.
Previously, while hearing a PIL filed by activist Anjali Damania and journalist Sucheta Dalal seeking directions against hoarding, black marketing of N-95 masks in the State, High Court had urged the State to consider capping the price of N-95 masks after Centre contended that masks already being sold at 47% reduced price
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