Supreme Court Seeks Centre's Reply On Plea Over Price Of COVID-19 Tests

The plea claimed that different rates are being charged across the country whereas the cost of the test actually works at just Rs 200.

Supreme Court Seeks Centre's Reply On Plea Over Price Of COVID-19 Tests

The plea said cost of RT-PCR test comes between Rs 900 and Rs 2,800 in different states. (File)

New Delhi:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Central government on a plea seeking directions to cap the cost of RT-PCR tests for testing suspected COVID-19 patients at Rs 400 across the country.

A three-judge bench of the court, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, asked the Union of India (UOI) to file its response on the petition filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal.

The plea claimed that different rates are being charged across the country whereas the cost of the test actually works at just Rs 200. It said the cost of RT-PCR test was fixed between Rs 900 to Rs 2,800 by various state governments, Union Territories and NCT of Delhi.

The top court also tagged the matter with another case pending before the CJI bench and slated the matter for a further hearing with that matter.

"They (hospitals) charge exorbitant money, my lords please consider this. Around 135 crore people (Health) is involved in this," Agrawal argued before the bench.

Newsbeep

The plea sought directions to fix the maximum rate for the RT-PCR (Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test at Rs 400 uniformly across the country.

"There is a big loot by laboratories and they are minting money to the tune of crores and crores of rupees. The margin of profit is so high as it is as high as 1,400 per cent in Andhra Pradesh and 1,200 per cent in Delhi," the plea said.

"The matter is concerned with 135 crore citizens of the country as everybody is worried with the coronavirus and forced to get their test done at this exorbitant price," it added.

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