Tripura High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: T. Amarnath Goud, J., dealt with a petition wherein the case of the petitioner was that the respondent was not the son of the deceased Kshitish Ghosh and under the garb of certain Wills the respondent was selling the properties which were in dispute before the trial court. Petition further prayed to reconsider DNA testing approval which was dismissed earlier.

The counsel for the petitioner submitted that the first respondent was alienating the properties to third parties and nothing remains for the petitioners who were the siblings if they succeeded before the trial court. Counsel for the first respondent who claimed to be the son of the deceased Kshitish Ghosh and his spouse Fulu Rani Ghosh submitted that in his school records, and birth certificate and all documents indicated that the respondent was the son of the deceased.

The Court observed that it was not disputed that the records and certificates produced by the respondent were in the knowledge of the petitioner. The only attack of the petitioner-plaintiffs before the trial court was challenging the Will and to declare the petitioner-plaintiffs as legal heirs and not the first respondent, Partha Ghosh.

The Court held that unless and until there was a challenge to the birth documents and school register to show that Kshitish Ghosh was not the father of the first respondent, Partha Ghosh, there cannot be any direction to get the DNA of first respondent tested to declare whether he was the son of the deceased Kshitish Ghosh and Fulu Rani Ghosh or not. The Court was of the view that it was not the aspect to be decided by the Court; however, petitioners-plaintiffs are at liberty to move applications before the concerned court seeking appropriate remedy in support of their claim to protect the property.

The Court dismissed the petition not intending to interfere in the matter.[Nirmal Ch Ghosh v. Partha Ghosh, 2022 SCC OnLine Tri 8, decided on 04-01-2022]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

For Petitioner(s) : Mr T. D. Majumder

For Respondent(s): Mr S. Lodh

COVID 19Hot Off The PressNews

In pursuance of decisions taken by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah during a series of meetings held on Sunday and Monday, June 14-15th, to handle the COVID-19 situation in Delhi, sample testing has been doubled immediately. A total of 16,618 test samples were collected on June 15-16.   Daily collection of samples varied between 4,000-4,500 till 14th June. Reports of 6,510 tests have been received so far and the remaining will be received by tomorrow.

As part of decisions taken by the Union Home Minister at COVID management meetings, door-to-door health survey of residents has been undertaken in 242 Containment Zones of Delhi. Out of total population of 2,30,466 in these zones, complete survey has been carried out of 1,77,692 persons during 15-16th June. Remaining persons will be covered by 20th June.

As part of actions to be completed as directed by Shri Amit Shah to tackle the COVID situation in Delhi, the report of high level Expert Committee headed by Dr. V.K Paul on rates to be charged by testing laboratories has been received in the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare and the same has been sent to Delhi Government for further necessary action.  Committee has fixed rate per test at Rs 2,400.

One more action taken as per decisions taken by the Union Home Minister Amit Shah, as per new protocol approved by ICMR, testing for COVID-19 will be done as per new Rapid Antigen methodology w.e.f 18th June. This technique will be much faster & cheaper.  Priority for supply of kits will be given to Delhi and a total of 169 centers have been set up in Delhi for collection & testing of samples.

Ministry of Home Affairs

[Press Release dt. 18-06-2020]


Case BriefsCOVID 19Supreme Court

Supreme Court: A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat has suggested that the Centre should create a mechanism wherein private laboratories conducting COVID-19 tests do not charge exorbitant fees from public and government should reimburse the fees charged by labs.

” at this time of national calamity permitting private Labs to charge Rs.4500 for screening and confirmation test of COVID-19 may not be within means of a large part of population of this country and no person be deprived to undergo the COVID-19 test due to nonpayment of capped amount of Rs.4500.

The Court further said that the private Hospitals including Laboratories have an important role to play in containing the scale of pandemic by extending philanthropic services in the hour of national crisis. It, however, said that it will later consider the question as to whether the private Laboratories carrying free of cost COVID-19 tests are entitled for any reimbursement of expenses incurred.

The Court, hence, issued the following directions:

  • The tests relating to COVID-19 whether in approved Government Laboratories or approved private Laboratories shall be free of cost. Centre shall issue necessary direction in this regard immediately.
  • Tests relating to COVID-19 must be carried out in NABL accredited Labs or any agencies approved by WHO or ICMR.

Centre has told the Court that earlier 15,000 tests were conducted per day by 118 labs and later to enhance the capacity, 47 private labs were allowed to conduct the COVID-19 tests.

The Court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi seeking a direction to the Centre and authorities to provide free of cost testing facility for COVID-19 to all citizens in the country. Sudhi told the bench that there should be free testing of COVID-19 by labs in the country as it is expensive.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said it is a developing situation and government at this juncture does not know how many laboratories will be needed and how long the ongoing lockdown will continue. To this, the bench suggested that the Centre should ensure that private laboratories do not charge high amount and government should create a mechanism for reimbursement of the fees charges for the tests. SG said he would like to take instructions on this front after which the bench said it would pass orders in the matter.

The petitioner has also sought a direction to the authorities for ramping up the testing facilities for COVID-19 at the earliest “given the escalating mortality and morbidity rate across the country”. He has questioned the March 17 advisory of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) which capped Rs 4,500 for testing of COVID-19 in private hospitals or labs, including screening and confirmatory tests.

“It is extremely difficult for the common citizen to get himself/herself tested in the government hospital /labs and being no alternative in the sight, the people are constrained to pay the capped amount to the private hospital/labs for protecting their lives,”

The plea said the impending danger of coronavirus is extremely serious, given the deprived population of the country, and testing is the only way to contain the pandemic. It alleged that authorities are “completely insensitive and indifferent” to the plight of common citizens who are already financially burdened on account of complete lockdown across the country. It urged the March 17 advisory be declared arbitrary and said,

“Further, the capping of the prices of the testing facility of COVID-19 in private hospitals/labs strikes at the Article 14 of the Constitution of India as being arbitrary and unreasonable,”

It also sought a direction for ensuring that all tests relating to COVID-19 are conducted under the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) or ICMR accredited pathological labs. It said ICMR should be directed to hold regular news briefings through national TV channels about the current situation on coronavirus and precautions to be taken by the citizens. The plea also said that authorities must ensure adequate numbers of testing kits and centers for COVID-19 across the country.

[Shashank Deo Sudhi v. Union of India, 2020 SCC OnLine SC 358, order dated 08.04.2020]

(With inputs from PTI)