HC seeks Delhi govt reply on contempt plea over non compliance with order on online path labs

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) The Delhi High Court Thursday sought Delhi government's reply on a plea for contempt proceedings against top officials for alleged non-compliance of an order directing regulation of online pathological labs.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the counsel for Delhi government to take instructions and listed the matter for further hearing on January 29 next year.

Petitioner Rohit Jain sought contempt action against Delhi Chief Secretary, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Directors General of Health Service and ICMR for allegedly failing to comply with the high court’s August 6 order to take action against illegal online health service aggregators operating in Delhi and to regulate online pathological labs.

Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, appearing for Jain, submitted that the online aggregators like 'healthian' and '1 mg' are operating illegally in Delhi, playing with the lives of the common people and must be banned.

The plea claimed that the government has completely failed to comply with the order of the court by not taking appropriate legal action against them despite the direction.

The plea said that the high court had on August 6 directed the concerned respondent authorities to initiate action in accordance with law against any illegal online health service aggregators operating in Delhi in violation of the applicable law including the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulations) Act, 2010, if applicable.

It alleged that authorities are equally responsible for restraining the illegal practices of online aggregators which are freely being carried out under the eyes of these officials in utter violations of the rules and regulations laid down by statutes and the guidelines issued by the respondents from time to time ever since the outbreak of deadly COVID-19.

It said that several illegal online aggregators are advertising freely by offering attractive packages for body check-ups including COVID-19 test through SMS or various online modes and added that the petitioner has received advertisements of online aggregators through e-mail for getting tested.

The plea alleged that the officials have been playing with the precious lives of the innocent people by promoting unqualified, unregistered medical practitioners to sign the pathological report and exposing the common people to the mercy of untrained and highly incompetent medical/ pathological professional.

The high court, on August 6, had directed the AAP government to take action in accordance with law against online health service aggregators, who are operating illegally without any registration, after hearing all the stakeholders.

The direction had come while disposing of a PIL seeking a ban on allegedly illegal online health service aggregators from collecting diagnostic samples for testing of COVID-19 infection. PTI SKV SA