The Delhi High Court Tuesday sought the Delhi government’s stand on a PIL alleging that its health scheme, Delhi Arogya Kosh (DAK), was “discriminatory” as it requires citizens to be residents of the capital in order to access it.
DAK is a registered society which provides financial assistance to the extent of Rs 5 lakh to the needy and eligible patients for treatment of any illness/disease in a government hospital.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar issued a notice to the Delhi government and sought its stand on the petition, which also contended the DAK does not have the Lieutenant Governor’s approval to implement the health scheme.
“The Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi’s health scheme-DAK health scheme has an unconstitutional and highly discriminatory eligibility criteria — the requirement of being the resident of Delhi — in order to access the health services in the National Capital Territory of Delhi,” claimed the petition.
It has been listed for hearing next on September 16.
Abhijit Mishra, a financial economist, moved the High Court claiming the Delhi government “has not earmarked any funds in any of its budget, nor has designated and authorised DAK in the Legislative Assembly” to implement and fund the health scheme.
As per the petition, filed through advocates Payal Bahl and Ameet Singh, the scheme provides financial assistance of up to Rs 5,00,000 for treatment to those who have been residents of Delhi for the last three years, and have an annual family income of up to Rs 3 lakh.
It said the petitioner has already sent representations to ministers and top officials of the Delhi government, “against the unconstitutional and highly discriminating health scheme”.
It had also claimed it had received no response from any of them.