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Delhi HC seeks Centre, Kejriwal govt's response on contempt plea over regulating online path labs

News Agencies | Updated on: 19 December 2020, 15:05 IST

The Delhi High Court has sought responses from the Centre, Delhi government and others on a plea seeking contempt proceedings over the alleged non-compliance of an earlier order for action against illegal online health service aggregators in Delhi and to regulate online pathological labs.

A bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva on Friday issued notice to the Centre through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Delhi government and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), and slated the matter for further hearing on January 29, 2021.

The court also asked petitioner Dr Rohit Jain, who moved the court through counsel Shashank Deo Sudhi, to file a corrected memo of parties giving correct serial numbers of the respondents.

The contempt plea said that the respondents have completely failed to comply with the order of this court by not taking appropriate legal actions against online health aggregators despite its directions for the same.

The plea said that the court had on August 6 directed the authorities to initiate action in accordance with the 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, or in violation of any rules, regulations or government policies applicable to the facts of the case.

The plea alleged that the top official of the respondents are equally responsible for restraining the illegal practices of online aggregators being carried out in "utter violations" of the rules and regulations laid down by statutes and the guidelines issued by the respondents.

It also said that several illegal online aggregators are advertising freely by offering attractive packages for body check-ups including the test for COVID-19 through SMSs or various online modes.

"The petitioner has received advertisement of online aggregator through e-mail for getting tested. It's also submitted that it is an extremely serious issue that the online aggregators are operating without any authorization and approval. Besides, these online aggregators are not accredited by any accreditation agency," the plea said.

"The existence of such illegal online diagnostic aggregators are posing serious health challenges as a large number of people are falling prey to the attractive health packages being offered by these illegal online aggregators," it added.

The plea said that the acts of respondents "clearly constitute contempt of the court" and sought that appropriate contempt proceedings should be initiated against them for acting against the order of this court.


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First published: 19 December 2020, 14:46 IST