Delhi High Court
Delhi High Court
File photo

The Delhi High Court on Thursday expressed a query before the AAP government as to why they chose the 33 private hospitals and did not pick the remaining 82 for reserving 80 per cent ICU beds exclusively for the Covid-19 patients.

"Hospitals run themselves on commercial logic...they have bills to pay and they have duty to the state as well, but why did you choose to not pick the 82 remaining hospitals," questioned a division bench of the high court presided over by Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonioum Prasad.

"Your (Delhi government) notification is outdated as the situation has changed 360 degrees in the current scenario," the court said further.

While the matter was being heard through video conferencing, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain submitted that this is not an adversarial litigation and there was a lot of pressure for ICU beds.

"Only 33 private hospitals were chosen," he told the court.

Following these submissions, the court sought to know the rationale behind choosing the 33 private hospitals.

"How have you done your exercise? Have you seen the population density and extent of infection? One of the petitioners Rakesh Malhotra had to go all the way to Dwarka for his treatment," the bench said.

"We're not saying that you cannot formulate a policy but we're only asking how, please obtain instructions," the bench said while adjoining the matter for a short while.

The Supreme Court had on Tuesday declined to lift the Delhi High Court's stay on the order to reserve 80 per cent ICU beds in private hospitals for such patients.

In September this year, the Delhi High Court had stayed the government's order directing private hospitals in the national capital to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds for Covid-19 patients only.

A single judge bench of the high court presided by Justice Navin Chawla passed the order while issuing notice on a petition by 'Association Of Healthcare Providers'.

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