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[COVID-19] Petitions moved before Delhi HC against Delhi Govt decision to reserve state-run, pvt hospitals for bonafide residents of Delhi

Aditi Singh

Petitions have been filed before the Delhi High Court against the Delhi Government’s decision to reserve state-run hospitals and private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment of only "bonafide residents" of Delhi. (Gautam Kumar & Anr vs NCT of Delhi and Abhay Gupta & Anr vs NCT of Delhi)

One Petition has been preferred by Gautam Kumar, a lawyer registered with the Bar Council of Delhi and Gaurav Sarkar, a Campus Law Centre student.

The second has been moved by Petitioner-in-person Abhay Gupta and Prashant Arora, lawyers enrolled with Bar Coucil of Delhi.

Another petition has been moved by Vineet K Wadha.

Delhi Govt order reserving hospitals for bonafide residents of Delhi
Delhi Govt order - June 7

In their Petition filed through Advocates Shashwat Anand and Syed Sarfaraz Karim, the Petitioners Gautam and Gaurav have argued that the decision to reserve hospitals for Delhi residents, based on the production of certain identity proofs such as voter ID, ration card, bank passbook, was in violation of Article 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

It is argued that the classification created by the Delhi Government was neither based on intelligable differentia nor met with the objective of controlling COVID-19 spread in Delhi.

The Petitioners have also argued that the decision also violated Article 19 of the Constitution as it “forces” some residents to move out of the city to seek treatment.

It is also contended that the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897 did not confer any power on the Delhi Government to restrict the treatment of individuals on the basis of residence.

Similarly, Petitioners Abhay and Prashant have argued that differentiation of the citizen on the basis of them being a resident of Delhi was unlawful, illegal and unconstitutional in view of Right to Health.

"..classification of patients on the basis of Residents of Delhi and Non Residents of Delhi or otherwise is discriminatory and violates the right available to a citizen under Articles 14 and 21 and 47 of the Constitution of India.", it is stated.

In Petition filed through Advocate Praveen Chauhan, Petitioner Wadhwa has contended that the policy was a "brazen misuse of power" and against the constitutional principles of equality, social justice and fraternity.

The petitions are likely to come up for hearing this week.

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