Bombay HC Dismisses PIL Asking Hospitals to Treat COVID-19 Patients for Free

Bombay HC Dismisses PIL Asking Hospitals to Treat COVID-19 Patients for Free

Recently, a Dombivli based social worker/activist Sagar Jondhale filed public interest litigation (PIL) with the Bombay High Court asking to make COVID-19 treatment completely free across hospitals. Representing the petitioner, advocate Anand Jondhale mentioned that the state had failed to take care of its citizens at this crucial time. However, the High Court heard the petitioner’s plea and deemed it “preposterous”. 

Additionally, the court clarified that civic facilities were treating COVID-19 patients free of charge in a majority of the cases, while citizens have to incur charges only if they get treated at a private hospital. The court further mentioned that citizens are not obliged to visit a private hospital and are free to seek treatment from civic-run hospitals in the city.

The court added that the petitioner couldn’t “demonstrate infringement of any fundamental right or abrogation of any statutory provisions by the state,” further ordering that he also pay a sum of Rs 5 lakh to the Maharashtra State Government. 

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The court added that these funds shall be used by the government “for relief activities to ameliorate the plight of people in these difficult times.” It was mentioned that if the dues aren’t paid within a month, the state has the right to recover the funds through the means of land revenue. 

The State Government has come under fire from several quarters, particularly with regard to the management of the coronavirus pandemic in the city. Several clusters have been reported over the past few days, though some authorities had previously expected a fall in cases by the end of June. Mumbai has now crossed 60,228 COVID-19 cases on its own, though recovery rates are also on the rise.

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