'Healthians' lab has ICMR, NABL accreditation; Gurugram Police to Delhi HC
In Delhi High Court, Gurugram Police and Gurugram health department on Tuesday gave a clean chit to "M/s Healthians" a diagnostic lab stating that it has necessary accreditation of the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) and National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) respectively, for carrying out sample collections.
Gurugran Police on Tuesday filed its response following Delhi HC direction to Delhi and Gurugram Police to file status on the action taken by them on a complaint regarding an online health service provider allegedly collecting samples for Covid-19 tests without a licence.
Gurugram Police in its affidavit stated that "the Healthians never performed any Covid-19 test till April 15, 2021, and has only involved in sample collection under the MoU with NABL and ICMR approved Covid-19 Labs. It has registration certificate under the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act, 2010."
The affidavit has been filed in a petition seeking initiation of contempt proceedings for the Delhi government for allegedly not complying with the court's order to take action against illegal online health service aggregators operating in the Delhi-NCR and to regulate online pathological labs.
The bench of Justice Najmi Waziri on Tuesday adjourned the matter for November 25, as the response filed by Gurugram Police was ‘not on records.’
The same bench earlier asked the Delhi government to identify more such private laboratories which are conducting Covid-19 tests without licences, while issuing notices to the Delhi Police and Gurgaon Police and asked them to file replies.
The Delhi High Court earlier too said that ICMR cannot be sitting in an ivory tower and said that it should look into the complaints relating to private pathology laboratories.
Earlier, in an affidavit filed, ICMR informed the Court that National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) certification is a must for enrollment of private labs for Covid-19 testing, adding that monitoring of the activities of online health service aggregators does not come under its purview.
ICMR submitted that as of August 16 2021, the ICMR has approved 134 (Govt. 35 and Private 99) labs at Delhi for RT-PCR, TrueNat, CBNAAT and Other M-NAT Testing Platforms.
Advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi, who appeared for petitioner Dr Rohit Jain, had alleged that no action has been taken by the government and in fact, there is a grave violation of the Supreme Court order.
He had also added that contempt is remedial jurisprudence and not adversarial and public welfare is the highest law.
The Petitioner has alleged that the top official of respondents is equally responsible for restraining the illegal practices of online aggregators which are freely being carried out under the eyes of these officials in utter violations of the rules and regulations laid down by statutes and the guidelines issued by the respondents from time to time ever since the outbreak of deadly coronavirus.
"Several illegal online aggregators are advertising freely by offering attractive packages for the body check-up, including Covid-19 test through SMSs or various online modes. The applicant/petitioner has received an advertisement of the online aggregator through e-mail for getting tested," the plea stated.
"The acts of respondents clearly constitute the contempt of the court and appropriate contempt proceedings should be initiated against them for acting against the order dated August 6, last year of this court," the plea said.
"The respondent's officials have been playing with the precious lives of innocent people by promoting unqualified, unregistered medical practitioners to sign the pathological report and exposing the common people to the mercy of untrained and highly incompetent medical/ pathological professional," it added.