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HC issues notice to Delhi govt on order reserving hotels linked to hospitals for govt officials

Delhi High Court will hear a petition against the Arvind Kejriwal govt, filed by Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra, an orthopaedic surgeon with Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, on 14 July. 

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New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Monday issued notice on a petition challenging the Arvind Kejriwal government’s notification directing four hotels linked with Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital and Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital to be immediately reserved for the treatment of Delhi government officers and their families amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.

The notice was issued by a bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, and the matter will be taken up next on 14 July.

The petition was filed by Dr Kaushal Kant Mishra, an orthopaedic surgeon with Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi, through advocate Pooja Dhar.

The notification, issued on 27 April, reserved 70 rooms in Hotel Ginger, 50 in Hotel Park Plaza and 50 in Hotel Leela Ambience — all linked to the Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital — and all the rooms in Hotel Golden Tulip Essential linked to Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital.

“Director, RGSSH and Medical Superintendent, DDU are directed to provide Covid healthcare facility at these Hotels to Covid positive officers/officials/their families treating them as if they are admitted in the hospital. Serious patients could be shifted to the main hospital area,” the notification said.

“The treatment/quarantine of Covid-19 positive officers/officials of government of NCT of Delhi, Autonomous Bodies, Corporations and Local Bodies and their family members shall be provided at these facilities exclusively,” it added.

The four hotels were originally attached to the two hospitals in May last year, exclusively for Delhi government officers. Through the fresh notification issued last month, these facilities were directed to be restarted with immediate effect. The petition has now challenged all these notifications.

Also read: Didn’t ask for 100 beds for judges at 5-star hotel, withdraw order or we’ll quash it: Delhi HC

‘Notice a disgrace to India’s constitutional ethos’

The petition asserts that “at a time when Delhi’s aam aadmi (common man) is forced to run from pillar to post in search of an oxygen bed, the issuance of the impugned order is a disgrace to India’s constitutional ethos”.

The plea contends that the notification is “premised on the repulsive notion that the lives of certain individuals have greater worth than the lives of the 2-crore ordinary citizens of Delhi”.

Through such contentions, it alleges violation of the right to health of the citizens, asserting that the notification diverts health resources from common citizens to “already-privileged government officers”. It says that the notifications therefore violate Articles 14 (equality before law) and 21 (right to life and personal liberty) of the Constitution, and should be set aside.

(Edited by Manasa Mohan)

Also read: Wear masks at home too, follow Covid protocol if you have symptoms but test negative, govt says


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