Petitioners Must Do Their Homework, They Can’t Ask for Everything Under The Sun: SC.

The Supreme Court on Monday said that those who files Public Interest Litigation (PILs) must do their homework and research and understand that they cannot just ask for everything under the sun.

A bench headed by Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna denied entertaining a PIL seeking direction for the implementation of the National Health Policy 2017, and other prayers including livelihood for the dependent’s of COVID-19 victims. The Court asked the petitioner to file a fresh plea backed by data and examples.

“You see, the problem with these kinds of petitions is that you have too many prayers. If you seek just one prayer, we may deal with it, but you claim to seek everything under the sun,” the bench said.

The petitioner C Anji Reddy’s Advocate Shravan Kumar said that he had given the example of Ramesh from Andhra Pradesh who, due to unavailability of free and affordable health facilities to the poor and middle class people, spent lakhs of rupees for hospitalisation during the pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic showcased the catastrophic effects of non-implementation of National Health Policy and the Judgment passed by this Court. Due to non-availability of adequate free/affordable health care facilities, people of the country are compelled to spend their life time savings, sell the properties, and jewellery for getting treatment in private hospitals which is contrary to the mandate of National Health Policy”.

Advocate Shravan Kumar.

“You cannot just annex a report and expect the court to take charge. These are policy matters. You cannot just say implement health policy. You cannot simply just say implement the budget of 2021. You have to specify the shortfall and indicate how there has been failure in compliance. You are not bereft of the burden of pleadings just because this is a PIL.”

Supreme Court Bench.

The Supreme Court allowed the petitioners to file another petition with specific data and examples and withdraw the earlier one.

The PIL filed by the petitioner, C Anji Reddy had sought implementation of the National Health Policy-2017 passed by the court in a 1996 verdict on providing adequate medical facilities to the patients who died due to lack of basic medical support and the direction to the insurance authorities to process insurance claim and reimburse medical expenses to the policy holders.

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