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The order was pronounced by the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian. (Mint)
The order was pronounced by the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian. (Mint)

SC seeks reply from Centre, health ministry in plea seeking 400 cap on RT-PCR

  • The PIL alleges that the RT-PCR test kits for detecting covid-19 are available at a cost of 200 in the Indian market but hospitals and labs are charging an exorbitant amount.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice and sought response from Centre and the ministry of health in a plea seeking a price cap at 400 for the RT-PCR test to detect covid-19 infection. The public interest litigation (PIL) alleges that the RT-PCR test kits are available at a cost of 200 in the Indian market but hospitals and labs are charging an exorbitant amount.

The order was pronounced by the apex court bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian. The three-judge bench has ordered for the case to be clubbed with the other pending matter on a similar issue of price-caping on covid-19 test and treatment.

The PIL filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal has sought direction for a uniform price across the country in contrast to the present price range of 900 to 2,800 fixed by the state governments.

The plea highlights that the machines for RT-PCR test are already there with the laboratories, as they conduct a large number of tests, and hence there is no extra cost for the labs conducting these tests. It also claimed that private laboratories and hospitals owners are using the pandemic calamity to their advantage by minting crores and crores of rupees from worried citizens who are forced to get their tests done at high prices.

Agrawal also said in his plea, "There is a big loot by laboratories and they are minting money to the tune of crores and crores of rupees. The margin of profit is so high as it is as high as 1400 percent in Andhra Pradesh and 1200 per cent in Delhi."

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