In a plea by a wife asking for financial help for her husband’s lung transplant, the Supreme Court on Friday urged the hospital where he is admitted to considering if the expected cost of the procedure can be decreased.
A Division Bench comprising Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice Aniruddha though explained that they are not giving any command to the Hospital but only urging them to think if something can be done.
The Bench further clarified, “Tell them, we are not furnishing any direction, Please tell them to consider. We are not giving any direction to the Government also, except that his representation is considered which may not be useful as the government has their constraints.”
The Bench was hearing the wife’s plea asking for the release of around 1 crore from PM Cares & State CM Relief Funds as financial support for making her husband a lung transplant after having drained her savings over his post- Covid treatment.
In the present case, owing to the unavailability of an ECMO machine in Bhopal, AIIMS, the petitioner’s husband was airlifted through air ambulance and admitted to KIMS Hospital, Secunderabad, Telangana.
In an earlier case, Supreme Court had spoken mentioned that although it had informed the petitioner that nothing could be done in the present matter, it but issued a notice on August 6, 2021, to recognise if something could be done from the Union’s end.
“We have already told the petitioner that nothing can be done but we had only agreed to see if something could be done from your end. We’ll direct for helping a copy to you and hear the matter tomorrow,” Justice LN Rao had said to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
It was held that the petitioner was allowed relief on the grounds of equity, justice and a good conscience and that she had a reasonable expectation of help from the Government in a situation of economic distress for saving the life of her husband.
In the present case, She has additionally averred that the workers at the counter told her that a reference letter from the M.P. of her constituency was a necessary document for processing the application.
“PM Cares Fund is a national endeavour to provide relief to the persons in a distress situation. The disbursement out of the said fund has to be done on a need basis and as per the Deed of trust which governs the fund. However, the said discretion has to be exercised in a reasonable manner and after proper application of mind. The case of the Petitioner is a fit case where disbursement ought to have been made by Respondent No.2,” plea further said.
The matter is now expected to be heard on August 16th, 2021.
Case Title: Sheela Mehra v Union of India and Ors