Saturday, February 4, 2023

Covid-19 second wave: Delhi HC dismisses doctor’s plea against Delhi govt decision to link hotels with hospitals for govt officers, kin for treatment

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday dismissed a plea by a Delhi-based doctor challenging the Aam Aadmi Party-ruled Delhi government’s notification to link four hotels with two hospitals for the treatment of government officials and their families during the Covid-19 second wave. 

A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh passed the order on a plea by Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra challenging the Delhi government’s notifications reserving rooms in four hotels linked with two hospitals for Covid-19 treatment of officials of various public authorities and their families.

According to the notification, 70 rooms in Hotel Ginger at Vivek Vihar, 50 rooms in Hotel Park Plaza in Shahdara, and 50 rooms in Hotel Leela Ambience at CBD Ground in Karkardooma, linked to Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and all the rooms in Hotel Golden Tulip at Hari Nagar, which is linked to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital (DDU), were reserved for the treatment of officers/officials of Delhi government, autonomous bodies, corporations, local bodies and their families.

The plea has contended that creating a classification in favour of a certain category of persons was “arbitrary” and “unimaginable” when the common man was running from pillar to post in search of oxygen beds.

The Court said there was no merit in the contentions raised by the petitioner whose plea had said that creating such exclusive facilities for officers would violate fundamental rights including right to life and liberty of other citizens of Delhi, who were seeking Covid-19 treatment but would be deprived of getting it as limited resources will be diverted for treating the officials.

The plea has not considered the ground reality during the second wave, the bench noted. The bench added, “In our view such officers clearly constitute a different class on account of their duties which they were required to perform during the peak of the pandemic.”

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On August 25 , while dictating a part of the order, the court had questioned as to how the government machinery would have functioned, if the employees were not assured treatment during the second wave of Covid-19. The bench had also said during the lockdown, while the common citizenry were in their homes, it was the government officers who were out on the streets to manage the situation and if such officers/ officials were to fall sick and were not to receive treatment of Covid-19, not only they but the entire citizenry of Delhi would have suffered.

Dr Mishra had also challenged various other notifications of Delhi government, which was represented through advocate Satyakam.

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