The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to Odisha, Telangana, Delhi and West Bengal on a petition claiming that there is non-implementation of the Central government’s Ayushman Bharat health scheme in these states and union territory.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Sharad Arvind Bobde, issued notices to the states and union Territory posted the matter for further hearing likely after two weeks.
The petition, filed by one Perala Shekhar Rao thorough lawyers Hitendra Nath Rath and Shravan Kumar, said that the Union of India has been implementing ‘Ayusman Bharat’ health insurance scheme for 50 crore people of the country with an annual budget of Rs 6,400 crores.
“Under this scheme poor people are entitled to avail treatment for various health problems including the testing and treatment for COVID-19 pandemic,” Hitendra Rath, for the petitioner, told the top court.
“That except Telangana, Delhi, West Bengal and Odisha, all the States in the country are implementing/availing the Ayushman Bharat Scheme,” the plea said.
It said that this has resulted the denial of health insurance benefit provided by UOI to the people of four states which is contrary to Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.
“Due to non availability of Health insurance and lack of proper facilities in government hospitals, poor and middle class people are forced to pay huge money for the COVID-19 treatment in private hospitals,” the petition said.
“In these circumstances, the petitioner prays that a comprehensive scheme may be framed by UOI and National Health Authority to provide Ayushman Bharat Health Insurance Scheme for desiring/eligible people,” it added.