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HC asks Delhi govt to reply to plea against illegal collection of COVID-19 samples

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Delhi government to file a reply on a plea seeking initiation of contempt action against authorities for not adhering to the earlier direction to take action against unauthorised online health service aggregators for illegally collecting samples for COVID-19 tests.
HC asks Delhi govt to reply to plea against illegal collection of COVID-19 samples

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Delhi government to file a reply on a plea seeking initiation of contempt action against authorities for not adhering to the earlier direction to take action against unauthorised online health service aggregators for illegally collecting samples for COVID-19 tests.

Justice Najmi Waziri slated the petition for further hearing on April 30.

The Delhi High Court was hearing a petition seeking initiation for fresh contempt proceedings against the respondents' authorities for not adhering to the order dated August 6, 2020, passed by the High Court, as well as the order passed by the Supreme Court on April 8, 2020.

The petition was filed by Rohit Jain through advocates Shashak Deo Sudhi, Bijender P Kumar and Mohit Nehra.

The petitioner urged to issue a direction to the respondents of the Delhi Government for immediately restraining the illegal online health service aggregators not being authorized to collect diagnostic samples from further committing contempt of the courts' order and endangering the lives of thousands of common and innocent citizens.

The Supreme Court had directed that only accredited labs can conduct COVID-19 tests.

The petitioner further said that respondents had the audacity to ignore the directives of the Court and had not taken any kind of action against illegal online aggregators and neither submitted any action nor taken any report.

"It is a matter of great concern that the second wave of COVID-19 is already on the rise, breaking all the previous records and the brisk business of the online aggregators collecting and testing COVID-19 samples is on the rise across the country," the petitioner said.

He further submitted that the respondent has been blatantly lying before this Court and making excuses like filing a detailed reply when there is no law in Delhi for regulation of illegal online pathological labs etc.

"But the truth of the matter is the online health service aggregators incorporated under the Compes Act are booking the appointment for pathological/diagnostic tests/reports on their mobile apps/websites/digital platform and collecting the pathological/diagnostic samples for COVID-19 including other routine testing, which is evident from grievances/complaints, put up by the victim patients on social media," the petition read.

This rampant illegal sample collection by online health service aggregators is leading to false COVID-negative results, thereby letting loose the COVID-19 positive patients in the society and hence, unfortunately, allowing them to transmit/ spread COVID-19 at a rapid pace as we are witnessing current second wave thereby turning the efforts of the government authorities to curtail the pandemic futile and putting an immense burden on the healthcare machinery across the country, the petitioner said.

( With inputs from ANI )

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