New Delhi [India], December 8 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Friday asked the office of the Delhi Lieutenant Governor to file a reply on the AAP government plea, seeking the release of funds for its 'Farishtey Dilli Ke' scheme providing free treatment to accident victims.

The order came from a bench of Justices B R Gavai and Sudhanshu Dhulia.

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Delhi Govt has urged the top court to issue direction for immediate re-operationalization of the 'Farishtey' scheme by releasing pending bills and timely payments to private hospitals.

The Delhi Government also sought initiation of disciplinary action and suspension proceedings against Dr. Nutan Mundeja, the then Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and Dr. S.B. Deepak Kumar,Secretary, Health & Family Welfare (H&FW), the defaulting officials responsible for deliberately orchestrating the de-operationalization of the 'Farishtey' scheme.

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According to the Petitioner, which is the elected Government of Delhi, that ever since the enactment of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Act, 2023 (2023 Amendment Act) - which seeks to, inter alia, remove 'Services' from the jurisdiction of the Government of NCT of Delhi and the constitutionality of which is pending before the court the 'permanent executive' of the Government of NCT of Delhi, that is, the officers responsible for policy-enforcement in the NCT of Delhi, have exhibited continuous insubordination and non-cooperation with respect to the implementation of the schemes and policies of the Petitioner Government.

As a result, the people of NCT of Delhi have been kept deprived of their fundamental right to essential public amenities such as the right to health and life, the petition said.

"Farishtey is one such welfare scheme of the Petitioner Government which has suffered due to the illegal insubordination shown by the Defaulting Officials. Launched in public interest on February 15, 2018, after the approval of the Council of Ministers, GNCTD and Lieutenant Governor, Delhi (LG), the scheme ensures cashless treatment to victims of road accidents in the nearest hospital if the incident has occurred within the jurisdiction of NCT of Delhi," read the petition.

"By ensuring that every accident victim is covered under the ambit of the scheme and good Samaritans are rewarded for their compassionate efforts, 'Farishtey' scheme incentivises citizen participation towards social service while simultaneously guaranteeing equal social security to every individual."

"Road crash deaths are more common in vulnerable groups where after the death, families are pushed into extreme penury. Timely treatment of road accident victims in the nearest hospital can go a long way in saving their lives. In light of this, 'Farishtey' is one of the most humanitarian and significant schemes of the Petitioner Government, in so far as it specifically reduces the impact on victims from lower-income and middle-income households. The scheme ensures effective help during the first hour after any road accident, which is called the 'Golden Hour' and if the victim reaches hospital within the 'Golden Hour', chances of their survival become very high," the petition said.

Due to mismanagement and insubordination caused on purpose, as on date, there is a pending payment of Rs 7.17 crores in respect of 42 private hospitals and in the meantime, the people of NCT of Delhi are bearing the brunt of this deliberate inaction, as in the absence of urgent medical attention, road accident victims are losing their lives on the streets, the petition said.

"The Chief Minister, GNCTD has already written a note dated October 27, 2023, to the LG expressing his pain and anger on the inhumane and insensitive behaviour of the Defaulting Officials, and has requested the LG to order the officials to make all legitimate pending payments to hospitals. Through this note, the Chief Minister has further referred the matter of initiation of disciplinary action and suspension against the Defaulting Officials to the National Capital Civil Services Authority. However, even after a month, the Chief Minister has not received any response from the LG on his Note," read the plea.

The 'Farishtey Dilli Ke' scheme uses fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to encourage citizens to help victims of road accidents, thermal burns and acid attacks without the fear of legal hassle or police inquiry.

Under this scheme, the victims get cashless treatment at any registered public or private nursing home or hospital across Delhi. Those who bring in the victims also get an appreciation amount of Rs 2,000 from the Delhi government. (ANI)

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