The Delhi High Court today quashed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government's circular on giving preferential treatment to Delhi residents over non-residents at the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice VK Rao had earlier reserved its verdict on the PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist challenging the Delhi government's pilot project.
The court was examining whether the AAP government's project was violating the rights to equality and life enjoyed by others under the Constitution.
The bench had earlier said that it has noted the AAP government's "difficulties" related to infrastructure, staff and facilities and had said that it will consider if these are valid grounds to deny others their rights under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution.
The Delhi government's senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra had told the court that no individual has so far filed a complaint against its October 1 circular initiating the pilot project at the hospital.
Mr Mehra had said no one was being denied treatment, access to tests or outpatient (OPD) facilities and the hospital was only prioritising whom to treat first.
He had also said the Delhi government took this policy decision as the huge influx of patients was putting a lot of strain on its infrastructure and staff, and it was also leading to manhandling of doctors by patients or their attendants.
The bench, however, had said the government ought to have evaluated the shortcomings and taken steps to rectify them, instead of taking away the rights of others by changing the manner in which they are provided treatment.
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