By Sushil Bata
New Delhi [India], May 6 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the authorities to treat as representation the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to regulate rates for cremations/burials of those who died due to COVID-19 and also a distance-based fare for ambulance service providers.
The Bench of Justice DN Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh directed the concerned authorities of the Delhi Government and Municipal Corporations to decide the representation according to the rules, regulations and law as soon as practically possible.
The petitioner Distress Management Collective (DMC), a trust through Advocate Robin Raju stated that the Government must regulate the ongoing practice of overcharging for cremation and ambulance services since the onset of the second wave in Delhi and NCR by unscrupulous people who seeing the crisis period as an opportunity to extract money.
The petition stated that there is a dire need for a policy to regulate the charges levied for cremation and burials during these difficult COVID times. It is seen that due to the lack of such policy, the caretakers and other private parties involved with the functioning of the crematoriums and burial spots specifically assigned for COVID deaths, are charging for cremations and burials as per their own whims and fancies.
The plea alleged that the charges levied are manifold times for more than what was levied for cremations and burials during normal times. The unjustified fare charged by the ambulance service providers across Delhi for even a short distance.
The growing incidents of extorting money from hapless people by many essential service providers in Delhi and the sudden spike in a matter of days indicate that there is a need for stringent measures to control the charges and bring it back to the times pre-covid times. There is an urgent need of regulating the elements that are seeing these exceptional times as times for profiteering. There is a dire need for the Government to come forward and prescribe rates for cremations/burials and ambulance services in Delhi NCR at the earliest. (ANI)