Libertatem Magazine

Union of India and GNCTD Are Jointly Responsible For Healthcare Thus Cannot Be Caught up in Bureaucratic Delays: Delhi High Court

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Case: M/S Bhagat Chandra Hospital vs. Union of India through Secretary & Anr. W.P.(C)5002/2021

Facts of the Case

A large number of PILs were filed before the High Court of New Delhi. It was submitted that the State has to step up its efforts to fulfil its Constitutional obligations as they are duty-bound under Article 21: protection of life and personal liberty and Article 47: Duty of the State to raise the level of nutrition and the Standard of living and to improve public health. It was further submitted that the State should step in financially in emergent cases and saving of lives must be a top priority right now. Further, the Union of India and GNCTD are jointly responsible for healthcare and cannot be caught up in red tape or bureaucratic delays. Also, it was submitted that the status of medical oxygen should also be updated. 

Court’s Observation

The Court directed both the GNCTD and the Union of India to take steps to fulfill their respective and collective Constitutional obligations of protecting the lives of people by providing sufficient health infrastructure. Further, the Court stated that it is not acceptable that the people die, or suffer merely because the State has not provided the resources to treat them for the COVID-19 disease by creating the infrastructure and deploying sufficient doctors, paramedics and providing the required medication and other essential resources such as Oxygen, equipment, and accessories. The Court also agrees that, in such a state of affairs, the GNCTD cannot afford to deny or delay essential services due to monetary issues and with the help of the State should resolve the issues since saving lives is the top priority. 

Court’s Judgement

The Court directed both the GNCTD and the Union of India to place before this Court the status with regard to the steps taken to augment the cryogenic tanker capacity in the NCT of Delhi. The Court also pointed to the responsibility of both the government and the GNCTD stating that they cannot afford to deny or delay essential services. It also directed that the issues should be resolved fast as saving lives is the top priority. 

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