The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday allowed the nursing homes, clinics and diagnostic centres in Patiala to run only their outdoor patient departments (OPD) and discharge all indoor patients within two weeks after their treatment.
The court also directed them not to admit any new patients. The directions came from a division bench headed by justice Surya Kant on the review petition filed by Rameshwar Dass and others of Patiala.
On August 3, the high court had ordered the Patiala municipal corporation (MC) to seal all commercial properties, which had been built in violation of building bylaws.
The MC was told to identify all the illegal commercial properties by August 14 and issue them showcause notices.
After sealing the unauthorised properties, the compliance report was to be submitted in court on August 22. The order also affected nursing homes and clinics running in residential areas.
Justice Kant allowed the Punjab government and its agencies to file their reply before the next date of hearing in the case on August 22. However, the detailed orders of the court are yet to come.
The Indian Medical Association's (Patiala chapter) had filed a public interest litigation seeking directions to the authorities concerned not to seal their clinics or nursing homes on the earlier high court's directions.
The petition had come up before the division bench headed by acting chief justice Jasbir Singh which allowed the petitioner to withdraw the petition with the permission to raise their issues before the bench of the high court which was hearing the original case and had issued directions of sealing the unauthorized commercial properties.
The petitioner had submitted that sealing of the nursing homes/clinics would amount to medical emergency as the entire medical infrastructure in Patiala would come to complete stand still as the members of the association were performing over 2,000 surgeries, conducting over 600 maternity operations and looking after around 1,000 critical patients on monthly basis.
It was also submitted that the petitioner association was out of the purview of the "commercial buildings" as defined under the Punjab municipal corporation Act, 1975. The association had also sought the directions to the authorities concerned to frame a policy for regularizing the nursing homes/clinics/hospitals and other medical establishments running in the residential area in pursuance to the directions of the high court.