HC dismisses senior doctor’s plea against Delhi govt notification on COVID duty

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by a senior doctor challenging Delhi government notification that directed doctors and allied medical staff to function in a single category irrespective of differences in their seniority and core medical specialisation in the treatment of the COVID patients.

The bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh on Wednesday while dismissing the petition also imposed a cost of Rs 5,000 on the petitioner. The court observed that it was a warlike situation when the order/notification came into existence.

“We find no violation of any GNCT Act as the order passed is temporary in nature,” the court said.

Court also showed displeasure with the petition and said if a COVID patient having heart disease too then it is the duty of the heart specialist doctor to take care of that patient. Seeking exemption from duty during the COVID pandemic is unfortunate.

Whereas Advocate Payal Behl appearing for the petitioner said the petitioner never sought an exemption and continuously performed his duty during the whole pandemic period.

Dr Ajazur Rahman, Chief Medical Officer (NFSG) at Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital through Advocate Payal Behl had sought quashing of said notification dated May 16 2021 as issued by the Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare Department, Government of NCT of Delhi.

The plea stated that impugned notification would severely cast its negative impact on the treatment of the patients and can potentially derail the entire medical/hospital administration system for the treatment of COVID Patients in the government Hospitals in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.

The mismanagement of the medical treatment of COVID patients by inexperienced doctors would lead to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India, so the impugned notification is arbitrary and would lead to chaos in the administration of the health system, the plea read.

It was submitted in the petition that the approval for the said impugned notification is an act of ultra vires due to lack of constitutional jurisdictional authority for the office of the Health Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi under the aegis of the Government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991.

It is specifically submitted neither the office of the Principal Secretary Health and family welfare department nor the office of the Health Minister of the Government of NCT of Delhi are not empowered to take such a decision, the plea stated.

It is further submitted that no consultation made with the Union of India before making such drastic changes.

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