Coronavirus in Mumbai: Bombay HC refuses to allow testing without prescription
BL Soni

Observing that there shall be a rational use of testing kits, the Bombay High Court, on Friday, refused to direct authorities to allow COVID-19 tests without any formal prescription as a pre-condition for the tests.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Kamalkishor Tated was dealing with a PIL filed by Narendra Murkumbi through senior counsel Vikram Nankani.

Murkumbi, through his PIL, prayed for a direction from the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the Maharashtra government to do away with production of a prescription or a certificate of a medical practitioner as a pre-condition to test for COVID-19. He urged the bench to order the authorities to allow testing to be done irrespective of whether a person is symptomatic and has come in contact with a COVID-19 patient.

Having heard the contention, CJ Datta said, "We are of the considered prima facie opinion that there has to be a rational use of testing kits and the present situation is not such warranting grant of any interim relief, as prayed and the same stands refused."

The bench, however, ordered the BMC as well as the state government to file their respective affidavits within three weeks.

"Let the matter come up for hearing in due course," CJ Datta said while adjourning the matter.

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