The Delhi High Court on Friday quashed a city government circular that excluded non-Delhi patients from taking free treatment at the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital here.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajendra Menon and Justice V. Kameswar Rao said that the government action was creating a class within a class.
The bench said that the act of conferring the benefit of medical facility to citizens on such classification is impermissible.
“Accordingly, we allow the petition and quash the impugned circular and direct the respondents to provide facilities of medical treatment in the hospital in question to all citizens entitled to the same, as was being done before enforcing the aforesaid circular,” the court said.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation by civil rights group Social Jurist through advocate Ashok Agarwal.
The petitioner had contended that the circular was in violation of constitutional rights, besides being arbitrary and discriminatory.
The petitioner pleaded that the GTB Hospital at Dilshad Garden in Shahdara area has already started refusing treatment to thousands of people of Delhi and outside for not having the voter ID card from the national capital.
The Delhi government had reportedly launched a project to reserve 80 per cent of the hospital beds for residents of Delhi and the verification was based on voter ID cards to decongest healthcare centres in east Delhi.