The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the Delhi Government to see to it that a poor patient suffering from rheumatic heart disease was operated upon for implant of valves free without insisting on production of Below the Poverty Line card.

Justice S. Muralidhar issued the direction on a petition by the teenaged patient Furkan seeking a direction to G. B. Pant Hospital here to do the implant free of cost under the scheme for providing free treatment to poor patients.

Furkan is the son of a vegetable vendor. His monthly income as per the income certificate issued by a Tehsildar of Uttar Pradesh is Rs.2,500. The patient’s father, Akbar Ali, is a resident of that State.

The hospital had refused to do the implant saying that there was no scheme for treatment of the poor. The hospital authorities had asked the father of the patient to deposit Rs. 1.3 lakh for the implant advised by the doctor treating him.

The patient has been on medicines for the past one year. However, he now requires immediate implant, the petition said.

Issuing notices to the hospital and the Government, Justice S. Muralidhar directed the Government to consider the case of the petitioner for totally free treatment without insisting upon him to produce BPL card before January 18, the next date of hearing.

The Government is under legal obligation to preserve the life of every citizen and no person should die for want of medical treatment, Justice Muralidhar said.

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