New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Delhi government to examine measures in pending legislation for the regulation of online health service aggregators.

While hearing a contempt plea against the Delhi government, ICMR, and others for not regulating online aggregators, a bench of Justice Najmi Waziri also asked Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led government to clarify if all labs which are being utilised by GNCTD for conducting its COVID tests are accredited.

The Bench also asked the government about how many accredited labs and those without accreditation are functioning in Delhi.

The next hearing in the matter is on March 12, 2021. Appearing for petitioner Dr Rohit Jain, Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi alleged that no action has been taken by the Government of NCT of Delhi (GNCTD) and there is a "grave" violation of the Supreme Court's order.

Earlier, the Delhi High Court had sought the response of all respondents in a plea seeking initiation of contempt proceedings for allegedly not complying with the court's order to take action against illegal online health service aggregators operating in Delhi and regulate online pathological labs.

Petitioner Dr Rohit Jain through the petition had stated that the Court on August 6 directed that "the concerned respondent authorities to initiate action in accordance with law against any illegal online health service aggregators operating in Delhi in violation of the applicable law including the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulations) Act, 2010, if applicable, or in violation of any rules, regulations or government policies applicable to the facts of the case. Action will be initiated in accordance with law against such violators of the law as expeditiously as possible and practicable, after giving an adequate opportunity of being heard to the concerned parties".

The petitioner alleged that the top officials of respondents are equally responsible for restraining the illegal practices of online aggregators.

The plea also stated that several illegal online aggregators are advertising freely by offering attractive packages for body check-ups including the test for Covid-19 through SMSs or various online modes.

The petitioner submitted it is an extremely serious issue that the online aggregators are operating without any authorisation and approval.

"Besides, these online aggregators are not accredited by any accreditation agency. The existence of such illegal online diagnostic aggregators are posing serious health challenges as a large number of people are falling prey to the attractive health packages being offered by these illegal online aggregators," read the plea.

"The acts of respondents clearly constitute the contempt of the court and appropriate contempt proceedings should be initiated against them for acting against the order dated August 6, of this Court. It is further alleged that the respondents' officials have been playing with the precious lives of innocent people by promoting unqualified, unregistered medical practitioners to sign the pathological report and exposing the common people to the mercy of untrained and highly incompetent medical/pathological professional," it said.