"Not Lt Governor vs AAP Issue": Court Told On Scheme For Accident Victims

The lawyer appearing for the lieutenant governor's office told the court it was not a "Council of Ministers versus LG" issue.

'Not Lt Governor vs AAP Issue': Court Told On Scheme For Accident Victims
New Delhi:

The "Farishtey Dilli Ke" scheme for providing free treatment to accident victims will likely be back on track soon, with the office of the lieutenant governor of Delhi informing the Supreme Court on Friday that the society running it has recently met and decided to release funds for its implementation.

The lawyer appearing for the lieutenant governor's office told the court it was not a "Council of Ministers versus LG" issue.

The counsel termed the case as a "storm in a teacup" and told a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sandeep Mehta that the LG is not involved in the implementation of the scheme which was governed by a society headed by the city government's health minister.

"You file an affidavit to that effect. If we find that the minister has taken us for a ride, we will impose exemplary cost," the bench told senior advocate Sanjay Jain, appearing for the LG's office.

Jain said, "Nobody has taken anybody for a ride expect that the petitioner has used this court's forum to agitate something… it is a classic case of storm in a teacup".

He told the bench, which was hearing a petition filed by the Delhi government seeking release of funds for the scheme, that it was not a "Council of Ministers versus LG" issue.

"This scheme was governed by a society, and in a recent meeting of the society which has taken place on January 2, they have decided to release the funds from which all pending claims will be issued," Jain said.

The bench said since the funds will be released, it will be the end of the matter.

"Ask the LG not to make every issue a prestige issue," the court observed.

Jain said, "The LG is not involved in this. This is exactly what I wanted to point out. It was a society which is headed by the health minister. It is the health minister only who took the meeting … it is she only who has now released the funds". The senior advocate said he was very surprised that the matter was brought before the court in this manner.

The bench asked him to file an affidavit within two weeks and adjourned the proceedings.

On December 8, the apex court had sought responses from the office of the LG and others on the plea.

Senior advocate Abhishek Singhvi, appearing for the Delhi government, had then submitted that 23,000 road accident victims have been provided cashless treatment in private hospitals under the 'Farishtey Dilli Ke' scheme.

The 'Farishtey Dilli Ke' scheme encourages people to rescue road accident victims. Under the scheme, the government foots hospital bills of those who have met with accidents in the city.

The plea sought immediate re-operationalisation of the scheme by clearing pending bills, releasing timely payment to private hospitals and initiating disciplinary action against officials responsible for deliberately orchestrating the "de-operationalisation" of the scheme.

"Hospitals are now reluctant to accept accident victims and this scheme has practically become defunct for more than a year since payments to the majority of the hospitals have not been made. This has had a catastrophic impact on the medical aid available to victims of road accidents, and lives are being lost on the streets for want of timely and effective treatment...

"Despite repeated reminders and directions by the Department of Health and Family Welfare and the concerned minister regarding clearance of pending bills of the private hospitals, the defaulting officials neither cleared the pending bills nor made timely payments to the private hospitals which have provided cashless treatment to victims of road accidents," the plea said.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)