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Lawyer seeks medical treatment for ailing father, Delhi High Court defers plea to July 27

The lawyer had to sell vegetables for the treatment of his 72-year-old father

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The Delhi High Court has deferred till July 27, a petition filed by an Advocate, seeking financial assistance for the medical treatment of his ailing father. 

The Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli on Friday showed empathy towards the plight of the petitioner, after his Counsel informed the court that the lawyer was even constrained to sell vegetables, so as to collect money to look after his family, as well as provide treatment to his father. 

The Bench asked Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma to look into the matter. “You have to tell me how you’re going to help him and sort it out… It saddens me when I hear that this Counsel, for his father, he was selling vegetables in Covid,” directed the Court.

Anurag Ahluwalia, Central Government Standing Counsel, assured the Court that with the help of the Office of ASG and the Bar Association, he would make some arrangements.

The petition has been filed by one Surender Singh, a practising Advocate at Delhi, through Advocate Deepak Agarwal. The plea averred that Mr Singh’s 72-year-old father was diagnosed with chronic cancer in March, 2021, but due to haphazard system at government hospital as well as lack of financial capacity, he was unable to receive proper medical treatment.

He was earlier receiving treatment at AIIMS, Delhi, but the said hospital stopped the treatment on account of second wave of the pandemic. After much delay, the petitioner somehow managed to receive treatment for his father at Safdarjung Hospital, Delhi and was prescribed several tests by the concerned doctors.

The plea stated that the process of getting medical tests conducted at government hospitals was frantic and unorganised, due to which his father’s health condition was worsening day-by-day. Moreover, due to non-functioning of courts in lieu of the ongoing pandemic, the petitioner was going through financial hardship and unable to afford proper medical treatment for his father.

Recently, his father’s condition got critical on July 16 and a temporary pacemaker was implanted, while a permanent one was required to be implanted soon.

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“The petitioner’s father is currently living between life and death and is in dire need of proper medical treatment, which became impracticable due to lack of financial capacity and haphazard or complex process of government hospital,” contended the plea.

“The Constitution envisages the establishment of a welfare state at the federal level as well as at the state level. In a welfare state, the primary duty of the Government is to secure the welfare of people. Providing adequate medical facilities for the people is an essential part of the obligation undertaken by the Government in a welfare state. Hence, it is the duty of the government to provide adequate medical facilities to the father of the petitioner in actual manner, not in illusionary manner.” 

The plea sought relaxation of the internal processes at government-run hospitals and to expedite the treatment of Mr Singh’s father. In addition, the plea prayed for free medical treatment of the petitioner’s father, along with financial assistance for medical expenses.

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