The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi government to file its reply on three pleas challenging its decision to convert petitioners' banquet halls into temporary COVID-19 treatment hospitals.
A bench of Justice Jayant Nath asked Delhi government to file its response on the matter and listed it for further hearing on July 8.
Meanwhile, advocate Satyakam appearing for the Delhi government said that the decision was taken in view of the rise in COVID-19 cases in the national capital.
The court was hearing three petitions filed by Chintpurni Overseas Private Limited, Ready Mint Private Limited, and a Community Welfare Banquet challenging the decision to convert the banquet halls owned by them into temporary COVID-19 treatment hospitals.
Ready Mint is being represented by advocate Sunil Dalal and its petition has been filed through advocate Sondhi Narula Dalal.
The plea sought to quash government order dated June 12, directing the company to grant possession of its Lavanya Banquet Hall for use as a COVID-19 treatment facility and also provide facilities like house-keeping, disinfection and catering.
The company said that the government has taken the decision without any consultation with the petitioner and without any due-diligence of the property to ascertain its suitability for being used as a temporary hospital.
The petitioner company has also sought to award the cost of the present proceedings in favour of the petitioner and against the respondent government.
"The order also does not take into account the fact that the petitioner (Ready Mint) is already constrained financially as there has been no business for over two months and none expected in the near future," the company said in its plea.
"In such dire circumstances, the Petitioner is being expected to personally shell out the cost of house-keeping, disinfection, catering, electricity, maintenance, generators, protective gear including PPE kits, masks, gloves, etc," it added.
The plea said that the conversion of the banquet hall into a COVID-19 hospital will result in the property being stigmatized thus ensuring the closure of business in the future.
It also said that the government, while taking decisions, also does not take into account the fact that most of the petitioner's workers have left for their native places and the labour markets in Delhi have already shrunk.
As such it will be virtually impossible to abruptly hire new skilled labour for managing fire and electricity fixtures, disinfection, catering, house-keeping, etc, the plea said.
It also said that the workers expected to be deployed do not have specialised medical training to be able to protect themselves from infection.
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