The Delhi government will challenge the high court’s Friday order quashing its circular on giving preferential treatment to city residents over non-residents at the GTB Hospital here, an official said Friday. Under the pilot project implemented early October, the residents of Delhi get preference at the registration counters, in-patient department, tests and medicine counter service, and identification is done on the basis of voter identity card at the Guru Teg Bahadur (GTB) Hospital.
“It is the duty of any government to provide better facilities to the taxpayers,” a Delhi government spokesperson said. “The Delhi government disagrees with the honourable Delhi High Court on the issue of providing facilities to Delhi residents at the GTB Hospital and it will challenge the court’s order in the honourable Supreme Court,” he added.
The proposal to give preference to the residents of Delhi at the hospital in east Delhi’s Dilshad Garden was approved in August by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The high court Friday quashed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s circular on giving preferential treatment to Delhi residents over non-residents at the hospital.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V K Rao had earlier reserved its verdict on the PIL filed by NGO Social Jurist, challenging the Delhi government’s pilot project. The court was examining whether the project was violating the rights to equality and life, guaranteed under the Constitution.
The bench had earlier said it had noted the government’s “difficulties” related to infrastructure, staff and facilities and added that it would consider if these were valid grounds to deny others their rights under Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution. The NGO, in its plea, had said the hospital could not discriminate against patients based on their regional identity, while adding that such discrimination was not seen anywhere else in the country.