Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Calcutta High Court disposes PIL pointing fingers at execution of group health scheme named Swasthya Sath

The Calcutta High Court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) pointing out a touchy issue as to how the persons who are covered under the Group Health Scheme, namely, Swasthya Sathi, are being treated by various clinical establishments in the State of West Bengal. 

The PIL has been filled by one Akshya Kumar Sarangi.

The petitioner seeks for a direction to open a help desk in all the hospitals, nursing homes and clinical establishments and bring the help desk under the direct control of the West Bengal Clinical Regulatory Commission and monitor the patients who come to these hospitals, nursing homes and clinical establishments for treatments of various kinds.

While considering the PIL,  the Division Bench of Chief Justice T. S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharyya held that the prayer sought for which is in the nature of a policy matter.

“That apart, the West Bengal Clinical Regulatory Commission could have no jurisdiction to issue any such order by bringing hospitals and nursing homes under its control by establishing a help desk in all these hospitals.

“If such an exercise has to be done, it has to be done in accordance with the rules and the State Government would be appropriate Government to frame such a rule subject to other conditions and restrictions.

“Therefore, at this juncture, the prayers sought for cannot be granted more particularly no direction as sought for can be issued against the West Bengal Clinical Regulatory Commission”, held by the High Court.

However, since the petitioner has expressed certain genuine grievances, the Court grants liberty to the petitioner to submit a comprehensive representation to the appropriate authority of the State of West Bengal and if such representation is made, the same shall be considered on merits and in accordance with law.


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