A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court challenging the decision of the Delhi Government to restrict the treatment in State Government run hospitals as well as in private hospitals and nursing homes to bonafide residents of Delhi only.
Filed by two Delhi University students who are the residents of UP and Bihar, the petition argues that this decision would adversely affect the health concerns of those who have been living in Delhi but do not have a bonafide proof of residence.
While claiming that the said order of the Delhi Government breaches Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution, the Petitioners submit that the order is neither based on intelligible differentia nor meets with the objective sought to be achieved of controlling the spread of COVID- 19 in the NCT of Delhi.
It is also argued that the said order is violative of Article 19(1)(e) of the Constitution as the same under the aegis of pandemic is forcing the residents to move out of the State. The decision also infracts the right to health under Article 21 of the Constitution, the petitioners state.
"It is submitted that under the umbrella of the impugned notification the govt. of NCT of Delhi is not only discriminating the individuals for treatment from the present pandemic but on the contrary the same act will lead to escalation of COVID cases as the infected individuals will not be identified which will further add fuel to the fire", the petition states.
In addition to this, the Petitioner claims that the said order can promote the malpractices of private hospital selling bed which is, as per the Petitioner, is going in Delhi.
The order was issued by Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, GNCTD, on Sunday invoking powers under the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 and Delhi Epidemic Diseases, COVID-19 Regulations, 2020.
Citing the surge of COVID-19 positive cases in Delhi, resulting in additional demand of hospital beds, Health Secretary ordered that "all the hospitals operating under the Government of NCT of Delhi and all private hospitals and nursing homes shall ensure that only bona fide residents of NCT of Delhi are admitted for treatment in these hospitals".
However, transplantation, oncology, neurosurgeries, treatment for road accident cases and acid attack cases happening within NCT of Delhi were allowed to continue in all hospitals irrespective of residence of patients.
The order also listed the documents to show residence status, such as Voter ID, Bank/Kisan/Post Office current Passbook, Ration Card, Driving License, Passport, Income Tax Returns, Latest Water/Telephone/Electricity/Gas Connection Bill in the name of patient or his/her immediate relations like parents etc, postal department's post delivered at the patient's name at given address, Aadhaar card made prior to June 7.