- Apprentice Lawyer
- Legal Jobs
The Delhi High Court yesterday took suo moto cognizance of a video clip showing a man struggling to find a hospital bed for his COVID-19 positive mother due to unresponsive helpline numbers. (Court on its own motion vs UOI - suo moto order)
In the clipping, which is being circulated on social media, it is claimed that Max Hospital Patparganj had asked one Dharmendra Bhardwaj to arrange a ventilator and hospital bed in some other hospital for his mother after her COVID-19 test came positive.
Dharmendra Bhardwaj is seen as claiming that he visited several hospitals, but to no avail.
“Importantly, he claimed that he called the Helpline No.1075 on several occasions with no response. On one occasion, he was given the number of DSO bearing No.9870552526. He called the said number, but again to no avail. On two other occasions, he was given two other numbers, namely, 011-22307133 and 22307145 respectively, which too were nonresponsive.”, the court records.
In the clip, Dharmendra Bhardwaj remarks that the tall claims of arrangements put in place by Central and Delhi Government to deal with COVID-19, who require hospitalisation and treatment, are far from true on the ground.
After watching the video, a Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar observed,
Delhi Government submitted that it is running 10 helpline numbers, which include the numbers that Dharmendra Bhardwaj had dialled, apart from an inter-active number 1031.
It was added that the helpline numbers which were found not to be functioning efficiently, have been asked to be set in order.
The Court was also informed that a mobile application would be launched in the next couple of days to give live updates of the hospital beds available in Delhi Government Hospitals and Private Hospitals, and other related information.
As far as 1075 was concerned, the Central Government informed it was an All-India helpline number and about 3 lakh calls had been received on it.
Seeking a status report on the helpline numbers being operated by the Delhi Government and Central Government, the Court sated,
The Delhi Government should also consider providing ambulance facility for pickup of COVID-19 serious patients for hospitalisation, once a caller reports a serious COVID-19 case, the Court added.
The Court appointed Advocate Om Prakash as the Amicus Curiae and asked him to call the helpline numbers and report with regard to their effectiveness in providing help to the callers.
As per the Court's direction, the matter would be placed before the PIL Bench headed by the Chief Jutsice, Justice DN Patel.
The matter would be heard next on June 3.