HC asks Delhi Health Minister, Secy to appear in plea against unauthorised labs, unqualified technicians

New Delhi, Feb 22 – The Delhi High Court on Thursday took a stern stance on the delay in enacting legislation to regulate clinical establishments, including laboratories, within the national capital, and asked Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj and Health Secretary S.B. Deepak Kumar to appear personally before it on March 21.

The court’s directive comes in response to an email indicating that the Health Minister was not adequately informed during discussions concerning the Delhi Health Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Bill, 2022, also known as the Delhi Health Bill.

Acting Chief Justice Manmohan and Justice Manmeet P.S. Arora expressed dismay over the prolonged delay, remarking: “We can only say it is a sorry state of affairs. This has been pending for the last five years.”

The case stems from a 2018 petition by Bejon Kumar Misra, alleging the operation of unauthorised laboratories and diagnostic centres by unqualified technicians in Delhi.

The court had previously directed the Delhi government to expedite the process of finalising the bill, or alternatively, consider implementing the Clinical Establishments (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010.

The Delhi government, in response, assured the court of its proactive efforts to draft and enact a law to regulate clinical establishments, stressing the necessity to safeguard patient and healthcare provider interests.

However, Misra’s counsel argued that the absence of regulation poses a significant threat to citizens’ lives, with an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 illegal pathological and diagnostic labs operating in the city.


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