The Allahabad High Court on Monday quashed the order of the Chief Medical Officer, Varanasi, who had restrained a private hospital from treating Covid-19 patients based on the allegation that the hospital realized higher amount than the prescribed amount from a Covid-19 patient (Medwin Hospital v. State of Uttar Pradesh).
A Division Bench of Justices Surya Prakash Kesarwani and Syed Aftab Rizvi, said that such restrictions are not reasonable, keeping in view the spike in Covid-19 cases across Uttar Pradesh.
“In government hospitals, adequate beds are not available to accommodate the Covid-19 patients for their treatment. The government itself is engaging various private nursing homes and hospitals for treatment of Covid-19 patients. Under the circumstances, the impugned order does not appeal to reason that the petitioner’s hospital itself be restrained from giving treatment to Covid-19 patients, merely on the allegation of a patient that some excessive amount was charged by it from him. That apart the impugned order has been passed by the respondent no.3 completely ignoring the explanation submitted by the petitioner. For all the reasons aforestated the impugned dated 11.12.2020 passed by the respondent no.3 cannot be sustained and is hereby quashed,” the Court ordered.
The counsel for petitioner contended that by the order dated December 11, 2020 passed by the Chief Medical Officer, Varanasi, the petitioner’s hospital was restrained from giving treatment to Covid patients and to run the hospital as Covid-19 Hospital.
The order was passed after a complaint was made against the hospital that it realized higher amount than that prescribed from a Covid-19 patient, Anand Kumar Mishra.
The Court noted that on August 22, 2020 a notice was issued by the Chief Medical Officer to the hospital asking for an explanation and the petitioner had submitted a detailed explanation. But the same was not taken into consideration by the respondent.
“However, without considering the reply, the impugned order has been passed by the respondent no.3 even without recording that what amount has been found by him to have been charged excessively by the petitioner’s hospital from a Covid-19 patient,” the order said.
While quashing the order of the CMO, Varanasi, the Court also granted liberty to the competent authority to pass an order afresh, in accordance with law, under the Epidemic Diseases Act 1897 and the Uttar Pradesh Epidemic Disease Covid-19 Regulations 2020, if still required under the prevailing situations, after affording opportunity of hearing to the petitioners.