A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Apex Court challenging the decision of Indian Council of Medical Research with respect to the testing facility for COVID-19 in private hospitals/laboratories in the nation.
The petitioner in person namely “Shashank Deo Sudhi” had filed the petition out of growing concern of the unprecedented pandemic covid-19 which is posing a grave threat of deadly infection among the population of the country. He further stated that in the petition that the Central Government had taken irrational decision of arbitrary capping in respect of the testing facility for covid-19 in private hospitals/laboratories at a rate of Rs. 4500/-.
The Indian Council of Medical Research on 17th of march, 2020 issued an advisory in which it was declared that the cost of the first step screening assay is Rs. 1500/- and additional confirmatory assays is Rs. 3000/-. Subsequently, they have also issued the names of the private laboratories along with their addresses on the very next day.
The petitioner further mentioned in the petition that the pandemic is dangerously devouring the life of the citizen of the country at the extraordinary rapidity with extraordinary fatalities and during such unfortunate circumstances where the entire country is under locked down and the government hospital is overwhelmingly packed to the capacity. It is extremely difficult for the common citizen to get himself/herself tested in the government hospital/labs and being no alternative in the sight, the people are constrained to pay the capped amount to the private hospital/labs for protecting their lives.
It was prayed that the Hon’ble Supreme court of India, may please to direct the Central Government for ensuring to provide free of cost testing facility of covid-19 (corona virus) to all the citizen of the country at all testing labs irrespective of private or government in view of unprecedented pandemic staring to engulf the whole population of the country in its tentacles and declare the advisory issued by the ICMR as being arbitrary and unconstitutional violating article 14 & 21 of the Constitution of India discriminating the accessibility of testing facilities for covid-19 in extraordinary health crisis.
-India Legal Bureau