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Delhi HC asks AIIMS to reconsider decision to levy charges from those staying at night shelter

ANI | Updated: Jun 23, 2020 17:58 IST

New Delhi [India], June 23 (ANI): The Delhi High Court has asked All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to reconsider its decision to levy charges on those who stay at its night shelter facility near the medical facility in the national capital.
A division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rajnish Bhatnagar also asked AIIMS to reconsider its decision on the requirement for the production of documents to avail of the night shelter facility, and the limit with regard to the number of days for which the needy and deserving patients, and their attendants, could continue to stay at the shelter.
The high court was hearing a PIL, filed by Karan Seth, seeking to address the grievance of hundreds of outstation patients and their attendants, who, it said, were earlier being provided treatment at the AIIMS, Delhi for several ailments.
"We are of the view that since, historically, the night shelter has been run by DUSIB differently from the Vishram Sadans run by the AIIMS, AIIMS could justifiably treat the said facility somewhat differently than their existing Vishram Sadans," the court observed asking AIIMS to file a report on the matter and listed it for further hearing on July 7.
The bench emphasised that it endorsed AIIMS taking over the night shelter, earlier run by DUSIB, to improve the functionality of the night shelter, after the court found that the night shelter was being run in an unacceptable manner by the agency appointed by DUSIB.
The high court noted that when the night shelter was run by DUSIB, there was a complete lack of hygiene, lack of drinking water facilities and water supply for the toilets, lack of cooking facilities, and lack of check on persons who were visiting the night shelter.
"The underlying thought was that if AIIMS takes over the supervision of the night shelter, such like deficiencies could be removed, since AIIMS has already been managing its Vishram Sadans adjoining the night shelter, in a far more efficient manner. The idea was not to deprive any section of needy persons from availing of the facility of the night shelter, which was being availed of by them before the takeover," the bench said in its order on June 19.
The court's remark came after senior advocate Darpan Wadhwa, lawyers Vaibhav Pratap Singh and Rahul Mehra, and social worker Rachna Malik submitted that the system sought to be adopted by AIIMS regarding the night shelter might do injustice and may prove to be counterproductive for the citizens.
They submitted that it is that the night shelter so far has been occupied by such persons who have no wherewithal and no means of affording any kind of accommodation, and if the night shelter were not to be available, they would find themselves on the pavements.
The AIIMS, on the other hand, stated that accommodation in the night shelter would be provided on the same terms as its existing Vishram Sadan facility.
Accommodation would first be granted for a period of 7 days and if the treating doctor recommends further extension, then it would be extended, AIIMS submitted.
Another PIL in the matter, filed by Rachna Malik, had also sought directions that some arrangement should be made so that patients who are residing in 'rain baseras' at AIIMS. (ANI)