The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the central government, Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Delhi Government on a plea seeking to strike down advisory that states that Covid-19 RT PCR test must not be repeated in any individual.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh asked Centre, ICMR and Delhi Government to file a reply and listed the matter for further hearing on August 7.
On May 4, ICMR had issued an advisory stating that RT PCR test must not be repeated in any individual.
The petition was filed by advocate Karan Ahuja, who said that he and his parents tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) on April 28 and remained under home isolation for a period of 17 days as per the home isolation guidelines issued by Delhi Government
Ahuja was represented by Advocate Kuldeep Jauhari, Advocate Anubhav Tyagi and Advocate Rajat Bhatia.
He told the court that the Civil Defence guards deployed outside his house asked for a negative Covid-19 report to allow the Petitioner and his family to step out of the house even to get basic essential items.
Therefore, Ahuja and his parents, on the very next day, May 18 went to the nearest dispensary in Sultanpuri but medical staff at the counter refused to test the petitioner and his parents citing reason that they have orders to not test people who have tested positive.
Advocate Ahuja said denial of testing at a public facility is violative of his fundamental rights enshrined under Article 14 and Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.
The denial by the dispensary stems from the Advisory dated May 4, issued by the respondent as per which "RTPCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RTPCR."
This particular recommendation in the advisory has led to a virtual blanket ban on Covid testing among patients who have already tested positive which has led to several complications.
The said advisory is arbitrary, discriminatory and creates a paradoxical situation since a negative RTPCR report is compulsorily required by several other notifications issued by the Respondents," he said.
Advocate Ahuja therefore urged the court to allow him and his parents to be tested for Covid-19.
He also sought to direct the respondents to not put any direct or indirect prohibition on the right of a citizen to get oneself tested for any infection including SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19).
He also urged to strike down Point No. (i) under the recommended measures to optimise RT PCR in the Advisory dated May 4, 2021 issued by respondent No. 2 which reads as follows, "RTPCR test must not be repeated in any individual who has tested positive once either by RAT or RTPCR."
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