Pathologist Association's plea before Delhi High Court challenges price cap on RT-PCR Test kits

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The plea alleged that the reduction in the price of RT-PCR test for COVID-19 has been done by the State government to ensure that the daily count of detection can be artificially brought down as the private labs will be discouraged to send their personnel to collect samples from homes. 


The Association of Practicing Pathologists has challenged the price cap implemented by the Delhi Government of Rs. 300 on the COVID-19 RTPCR tests by the private laboratories.

The plea filed through Advocate Neeraj Grover before the Delhi High Court alleged that the Government has arbitrarily and without any authority of law fixed the ceiling price/cap on charges of RT-PCR-based Molecular Tests for COVID-19 in Delhi by private sector labs.

A bench of Justice Yashwant Verma after hearing the matter on Tuesday listed the matter for further hearing on November 16.

Grover informed the bench that the petition was originally filed in December 2020 and upon further revisions in rates by the State Government, the plea has been amended twice.

The plea argued that the reduction of the testing rates is unjustified and uncalled for and does not consider the fact that the input costs for either the testing kits or any other consumables have not at all reduced in the last about 5 months, rather the input costs have increased on account of the substantial increase in salaries, minimum wage benefits, petrol expenses, and even GST rates.

Furthermore, the plea submitted that the authorities have failed to appreciate that with the new variant OMICRON being detected and traced in the ongoing third wave, certain manufacturers have developed “Omicron detection RTPCR kits” some of which have been recently given approval by ICMR and which are presently costing much more than the regular RTPCR kits.

"The uncalled for reduction in prices for all conventional RTPCR tests will ensure that the testing labs in Delhi do not use such OMICRON specific kits while testing patients for COVID19," the plea added.

It has been alleged that the government has passed the order to ensure that the daily count of detection of COVID cases in Delhi can be artificially brought down by lesser testing and by discouraging private labs to send their personnel for home collections.

"Such a policy of the respondent is clearly visible since last one week as testing by the government facilities has been considerably brought down to about half while the positivity rate continues to be high. Such acts of the government seem to be motivated by upcoming elections in some states to show that Delhi has controlled its 3rd COVID wave very effectively," the plea added.

Case Title: Association of Practising Pathologists (Regd) Vs. GNCT of Delhi