The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday directed the Punjab government to submit the district-wise details of all blood banks in the state. Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL), the division bench of justices SK Mittal and HS Sidhu has also directed the state to apprise the high court of how much units of blood were collected by these blood banks, societies and other such institutions during the last one year.
The director, State Blood Transfusion Council, has also been asked to inform the court that in what manner and to what extent the blood so collected had been distributed among the needy. And at what rate the blood banks are charging processing fee and other charges from the public, the high court has demanded to know by August 14.
In the PIL filed by Hindustan Welfare Blood Donors, it has been alleged that private blood banks in Punjab are charging between Rs 2,700 and Rs 4,000 per unit of blood against the Rs 1,400 fixed by the Centre.
Petitioner's counsel Hitesh Kaplish had sought directions to ban the security money charged for blood units by some private hospitals claiming that it was in violation of the guidelines of the Centre. It was alleged that the patients were being exploited and overcharged. For platelets to certain category of patients, the maximum amount of Rs 11,000 per unit had been fixed as per the guidelines. But in some cases these charges were up to Rs 17,000, Kaplish had told the court.
The high court has told various parties to respond by August 14 on the notices, which were also issued to the Centre, National Aids Control Organisation and State Aids Control Society, Punjab.
HC tells Punjab to look into allegations
In another PIL, alleging involvement of mafia in taking kerosene meant for the below poverty line (BPL) people and black marketing in Punjab, the high court has directed the government to look into the allegations and take appropriate action.
The petitioner had sought directions to the government to conduct a survey to filter the eligible beneficiaries for the distribution of subsidised kerosene as per rules and take action against the defaulters.
The public was forced to buy kerosene from the open market and the oil meant for the BPL people was being sold by the mafia operating in the state, petitioner's counsel Hitesh Chauhan said.