The Bombay High Court on Tuesday sought response from the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on a plea which claimed that private hospitals are not admitting COVID-19 patients and are charging exorbitant amounts for treatment of patients by taking advantage of lockdown. The plea also claimed that the BMC was not accepting reports from private testing labs.
The court also observed that the presence of the Municipal Commissioner would be beneficial for adjudication and directed the petitioner to add the BMC commissioner as a party to the case.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and justice S S Shinde on Tuesday was hearing through videoconference, a PIL filed by Sarika Singh which claimed that private hospitals certifying patients as not affected by COVID-19 are not being accepted by the BMC and they are asked to undergo the tests again. The petition, represented by advocate Varsha Jagdale, sought directions to the BMC to redress the concerns raised in the plea.
The bench led by Chief Justice Datta noted, “Having regard to the nature of issues raised in the PIL petition and also upon hearing counsels appearing for the respective parties, we are of the considered opinion that the presence of the Municipal Commissioner would be beneficial for proper adjudication of such issues and dispensation of justice on this PIL petition.”
Government Pleader Purnima H Kantharia representing state and advocate Yamuna Parekh for BMC sought time to obtain instructions from the authorities on grievances raised by the petitioner. The bench posted the matter for further hearing to May 22.
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