The long-drawn tussle between the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Seven Hills Healthcare Private Ltd (SHHPL) may finally come to an end.
The BMCs counsel,Ashutosh Kumbhakoni,told the Bombay High Court on Wednesday that the disputing parties are likely to arrive at a settlement in two weeks.
A bitter court battle began after the BMC,on February 23,2011,issued a notice to SHHPL to vacate the nearly seven-acre premises in Marol allotted to them to run a multi-speciality hospital. The dispute stemmed from the hospitals alleged refusal to reserve 20 per cent of its 1,500 beds for poor patients referred from BMC hospitals.
The High Court had earlier appointed F I Rebello,the retired Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court,as a mediator.
Kumbhakoni told the court that considerable progress had been made during the three meetings held between the BMC and SHHPL as a part of the mediation process and sought two more weeks for them to resolve their differences.
Earlier,the court had reprimanded the BMC for its NOC to SHHPL for mortgaging the land to secure a bank loan,which created obstacles for the hospital instead of facilitating the procurement of a loan. In June,however,the BMC revised its NOC.
The BMC,on the other hand,alleged that the SHHPL ill-treated and discouraged poor patients from seeking treatment at the swanky hospital. However,SHHPLs counsel Venkatesh Dhond had,in February,told the court that they were ready to construct a separate 300-bed hospital on the premises at Marol where patients referred from civic hospitals would be treated.
The court had time and again asked the BMC and SHHPL to settle the dispute and not make it a prestige issue. It had also said that those working in the medical field should have an egalitarian and altruistic approach.