New Delhi, Nov 24, 2020-
The Supreme Court on Tuesday sought response from the Centre on a PIL to cap the price of RT-PCR tests for Covid-19, at Rs 400.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde and comprising Justices A. S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian issued notice to the Union Health Ministry.
Advocate Ajay Agarwal, representing the petitioner, submitted before the top court that different rates are being charged across the country, whereas the actual cost of the test is merely Rs 200. He sought a direction from the top court for fixing the maximum rate for the RT-PCR test for Covid-19 uniformly all over India.
The bench said this plea will be heard with another pending plea pertaining to capping the cost of Covid-19 treatment and listed the matter for further hearing after two weeks. As Agarwal sought urgent hearing in the matter, the bench took note of his submissions.
“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… it is as high as 1,400 per cent in Andhra Pradesh and 1,200 per cent in Delhi,” said the plea.
The plea sought direction to the Centre to fix the maximum rate for the RT-PCR (real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction) test to Rs 400, instead of Rs 900 to Rs 2,800, which has been fixed by different state governments, and Union Territories, including Delhi.
“The matter is concerned with 135 crore citizens of the country as everybody worried about the coronavirus and forced to get their test done at this exorbitant price,” it said. (Agency)