Denying any relief to nursing homes in the capital functioning in violation of building by-laws and land use norms, the Delhi High Court has ordered them to close down within six months.
A Bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice S Muralidhar dismissed a plea by Delhi Medical Association and 22 nursing homes challenging a 1992 amendment to the Delhi Nursing Home Rules for registration. As per the amendment, nursing homes that did not adhere to land use norms have to close down.
The petitioners had pleaded they were entitled to benefit of Master Plan for Delhi 2021 which introduced mixed land use norms. But the court rejected it on the ground that “the principal questions concerning the Act are bound to recur notwithstanding the new MPD norms”.
As for nursing homes that have applied for registration but have not yet been granted permission, the Court gave liberty to concerned authorities to take action against them.
Nursing homes that have applied for renewal of their registration have been given a grace period of six months to close down their business if they are unable to register themselves as per the Delhi Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1953, the rules and the law established in the judgment.
The judges said the grace period was being awarded so that patients already receiving treatment are not inconvenienced.
“Every new patient admitted will be forewarned that the hospital has been asked to shut down by a certain date pending grant of registration. Each such nursing home will put up a notice board prominently in at least three places...,” the court said.