By Amiya Kumar Khushwaha
New Delhi [India], June 8 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has directed North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to file a status report disclosing the status of the proposal for handing over of six hospitals and Medical College to the Central Government.
A Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh order came after taking note of the status report filed by the Delhi Government.
In its status report, Delhi Government has placed on record a copy of the communication dated February 28, 2018, written by the Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation to the Municipal Secretary, North Delhi Municipal Corporation with regard to the handing over of 6 hospitals of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, and Medical College to the Central Government.
The case made out in the said communication is in relation to the six hospitals being run by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation post trifurcation of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi in 2012.
The said six hospitals are Hindu Rao Hospital, Kasturba Hospital, R.B.I. PMT Hospital, Girdhari Lal Hospital, M.V.I.D. Hospital and Balak Ram Hospital. The said communication sets out the consolidated expenditure incurred in running of the said hospitals in the years 2014-15, 2015-16 and 2016-17, and advocates that these hospitals should be handed over to the Central Government, so as to reduce the annual expenditure incurred by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Hospitals and Medical College to the tune of about Rs 500-600 crores, observed the Court.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi Government submitted that the reason why the said communication has been brought on record before this Court in these proceedings is that this Court is considering various aspects relating to COVID management, and one of the aspects which this Court has dealt with, particularly in the second wave of the pandemic, is the shortcomings in the medical infrastructure in the NCT of Delhi.
Mehra submitted that since the North Delhi Municipal Corporation is presently in financial stringency, the said hospitals and medical college are facing difficulty in day-to-day management, and further development of these hospitals, considering the large parcels of land with some of them, is not taking place.
Mehra submitted that the proposal contained in the letter for the takeover of the management of the said hospitals and medical college by the Central Government should be considered by the Central Government and, in case, the Central Government is not willing to take them over, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) would be willing to take over the said hospitals and medical college considering the fact that health is a State Subject.
He further submitted that this communication itself points out that, in the past as well, organisations such as Fire Brigade, Delhi Vidhyut Board, Delhi Jal Board, etc. have been taken over by the GNCTD from the Municipal Corporations.
Advocate Divya Prakash Pande, who appeared for the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, submitted that the said communication is an internal communication from the Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation to the Municipal Secretary, North Delhi Municipal Corporation and it is not clear as to whether the North Delhi Municipal Corporation passed any resolution in terms of the said communication.
Advocate Pande submitted that the North Delhi Municipal Corporation shall file a status report disclosing the present status of the said proposal, and also place before the Court, the expenditures being incurred by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, in running the said six hospitals and Medical College presently.
The Court has listed the matter for July 8 for consideration and said that in case the Central Government is in receipt of such a proposal for taking over of the six hospitals and Medical College, the Central Government shall place the status of the said proposal before the Court, which shall also be considered on next date of hearing. (ANI)