The Delhi high court on Monday sought response of the Aam Aadmi Party government on a public interest litigation seeking direction to immediately release funds allocated for malaria and dengue control programmes to municipal bodies in the capital.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked the Delhi government to file their comprehensive counter affidavits with regard to the amounts released to three municipal corporations to control the dengue menace.
"The court is already seized of the issue and has sought response of the authorities concerned on the steps they have taken to control the menace of dengue. Additional issue has been raised in the present writ petition.
"The Delhi government is directed to file a comprehensive affidavit with regard to all points raised in the petition," the bench said.
The plea sought direction to concerned authorities to ensure that none of the hospitals in the capital turn away any patient with symptoms of dengue and award severe penalties on refusing admission.
Advocates Aman Panwar and Mudit Gupta, appearing for Congress leader Ajay Maken, alleged that people of Delhi were in a state of panic as the "government admittedly is not equipped to deal with the menace and private hospitals have been turning away patients."
"Hospitals, both public and private, must be duly equipped with dengue testing kits (ELISA kits), platelet transfusion machines and ancillary medicines," the plea said, adding that additional strength of doctors be deputed in all hospitals controlled by government and municipal bodies "to curb epidemic like situation in the capital."
Meanwhile, Additional Standing Counsel Sanjoy Ghose, appearing for the Delhi government, informed the court that the present PIL has been filed by a politician who had suppressed information regarding a representation made to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in the same context. He also submitted that the chief minister had written aback to Maken urging him to join them in fighting the menace.
Earlier, the high court had voiced concern over the rise in dengue cases in the national capital, asking the Centre and the city government to explain the steps they have taken to contain the vector-borne disease on the plea by law student Gauri Grover.
Grover's plea had sought lodging of the FIR against hospitals which denied treatment to a seven-year-old boy who died of dengue and whose parents subsequently committed suicide.
An advocate Arpit Bhargav has also filed a PIL seeking direction to the government and civic bodies on the issue, which will be heard along with other PILs -- filed by Maken and Grover -- on September 24.