The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ordered the treatment to a 70-year-old woman battling breast cancer under the Central Government Health Service Scheme (CGHS).
The order came following the refusal of the woman Vimla’s husband, Jai Kishan Balani, 90, to comply with the court’s repeated direction to provide her an expensive life-saving drug, Herceptin.
Vimla and Balani have been estranged since 50 years. Balani got a decree of divorce from a civil court in his favour seven months ago. But on an appeal filed by Vimla, the High Court stayed the divorce this February and asked Balani to ensure her an uninterrupted supply of the drug at a subsidised rate from the CGHS.
The Bench issued the direction after Vimla’s lawyers Atul Wadera and RK Saini convinced them that since the divorce had been stayed, Vimla continued to be Balani’s wife and was entitled to maintenance and medical expenses.
A special vacation Bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Rajiv Shakdher felt Vimla’s treatment cannot be delayed merely on account of her husband’s refusal to treat her. “CGHS is directed to facilitate treatment of the appellant (Vimla) including particularly making available the drug Herceptin for treatment of breast cancer”, the Bench said.