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Define mode of determining fine on hospitals: HC asks AAP govt

Define mode of determining fine on hospitals: HC asks AAP govt

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court today asked the AAP government what would be the mode of determining penalty to be imposed on a private hospital which allegedly refuses to provide free treatment to poor patients as required under its land allotment lease condition.

“Who will determine? What will be mode of determination,” Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked while hearing a plea of Fortis Escorts Heart Institute here which has been slapped with a fine of over Rs 100 crore for allegedly refusing to provide free treatment to poor patients.

The court raised the query as the Delhi government did not place before it the original records of a meeting held on December 10 last year on the basis of which it had purportedly arrived at the amount.

Besides Fortis, the Delhi government had asked four other Delhi-based private hospitals — Max Super Specialty Hospital (Saket), Dharamshila Cancer Hospital, Shanti Mukand Hospital and Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute — to deposit “unwarranted profits” they earned from allegedly refusing free treatment to the poor.

During the hearing, the court directed the government to place before it on August 1, whatever records it has regarding the meeting after its counsel said there was only an attendance sheet of meeting and there was no record of the discussions.

This contention was disputed by Fortis hospital’s counsel who said that she had signed the sheet containing a record of what had transpired at the meeting.

Delhi government counsel Peeyoosh Kalra then said the records would be placed before the court on August 1.

The lawyer, during the hearing, also said the additional affidavit filed by the hospital, regarding records provided by it to the government, was vague.

A special committee, appointed to look into the affairs of the hospitals as per a high court order of 2007, had imposed a fine of over Rs 32 crore on Max, Rs 36.30 on Shanti Mukand, Rs 10.6 on Pushpawati Singhania, over Rs 100 crore on Fortis and Rs 17.86 crore on Dharamshila.

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