With infusion of Rs.1 crore needed for basic result-oriented treatment of a haemophilic youth, who is “bleeding to death” at a ward in LNJP Hospital and is at the mercy of the State, a visibly moved Delhi High Court on Tuesday suggested writing to the Prime Minister to see if his treatment can be funded from the Prime Minister’s Relief Fund.
The High Court made the suggestion after the government cited absence of funds and schemes to come to the aid of the patient.
The Court also directed the Delhi Government Health Secretary to “furnish a representation to the Lieutenant-Governor for release of money if possible under the L-G/ Chief Minister's Relief Fund” even as the city government’s counsel emphasised that the same was meant for people affected by natural calamities or riots etc and the Additional Solicitor General Rajeeve Mehra said he was doubtful about getting money from the PM’s Relief Fund.
“In this sort of case, I don’t know how much we can stretch Article 21 (Right to Life) of the Constitution. Why can’t this be considered under the PM’s Relief Fund,” Justice Manmohan asked ASG Mehra who was directed the take instructions on whether 36-year-old Amit Ahuja can get some aid from the said fund.
Deeply moved as Mr. Ahuja’s poor prognosis of active bleeding from pseudotumors, bed sores, severe virus infection and anemia was being read out, the Bench said the “government's affidavit transpires that it has a scheme for providing treatment to patients of haemophilia but I am wondering why they are shying away from helping him”. The Delhi Govt's counsel Zubeida Begum submitted that the State cannot concentrate all its resources on one person who needs minimum of Rs.1 crore for 72 shots of drug dose without any certainty of results while other citizens are not even provided basic healthcare.
At this, amicus curiae Sheyl Trehan reiterated that the best way out was to have public-private partnership and drive pharmaceutical companies to come to the aid of poor patients of such grave disorders under the corporate social responsibility but added that the government has notified that the companies cannot do so in their normal course of business.
To this, the counsel for the Ministry of Corporate Affairs told the Bench that the government has decided to amend the schedule of the CSR policy to include “promoting health care”. The Bench asked her to file an affidavit in this regard.