PIL against price cap on RT-PCR tests at Rs 800: HC seeks Delhi Govt's response
The association, which filed the plea urged the court to quash the Delhi government order saying that it is seriously affecting the rights of private laboratories run by its members and causing financial losses every day.
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued a notice to the Delhi government on a petition against the latter's decision to cap the cost of the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for Covid-19 at Rs 800.
A single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla asked the Delhi government to file a reply on the petition filed by the Association of Practicing Pathologists. The bench listed the matter for further hearing on February 25.
The association, which filed the plea through advocate Neeraj Grover, urged the court to quash the Delhi government order saying that it is seriously affecting the rights of private laboratories run by its members and causing financial losses every day.
The plea said that the Delhi government has arbitrarily and without any authority of law fixed the ceiling price on charges of RT-PCR based molecular tests for Covid-19 in Delhi by the private sector labs, thereby violating several fundamental rights of the members of the petitioner association guaranteed by the Constitution of India under Article 14, 19 ( 1) (g) and violating the fundamental rights of the common man under Article 21.
It said that the Delhi government while capping the charges for RT-PCR tests has not taken in to account that the three methods of testing being RT-PCR, CBNAAT and TRUNAT are loosely referred to as RT-PCR based molecular tests in general parlance but the said tests differ in their respective sensitivity, specificity and turnaround times and the costs involved in doing all these tests are different and so is the capabilities of various labs in the private sector to conduct such tests on account of infrastructural and capital requirements.
"While the costs to labs for doing RTPCR (open system) tests is around Rs 1,200, the cost for TRUNAT is around Rs 2000 and the cost for CBNAAT tests is around 3500," the plea said.
The Delhi government, on November 30, issued the order capping charges for all RTPCR based molecular testing at Rs 800, which does not even cover the basic consumable costs, the petitioner submitted.
It also urged the court to direct the respondent to grant a mandatory consultation to the relevant stakeholders or representatives of the petitioner association before issuing any further order for capping the prices of RT-PCR, TruNAT, CBNAAT tests.