Supreme Court gives nod to Hospitals sans NOC by fire department in Ahmedabad to operate on assurance of compliance
Supreme Court, in its order today, allowed relief in a plea preferred by Ahmedabad Medical Association, against Municipal Corporation’s order of sealing hospitals not having NOC from Fire Department and Building Use Permission.
A Division Bench of Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice V. Ramasubramanian, while allowing the plea, observed,
“The Petitioners assert that necessary compliance, building use certificate, NOC from Fire department will be sought at the earliest. List after 8 weeks, in the meantime no coercive action to be taken against the petitioner. Buildings can be put to use only as an interim order.”
Submissions were made by Learned SGI, Mr. Mehta for the Centre;
Senior Advocate Maninder Singh for the petitioner association.
By the impugned judgment dated June 3, 2021, Gujarat High Court had rejected the petition at admission stage itself.
Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation issued a public notice on February 22, 2021, stating that it is necessary to obtain Building Use (BU) permission and fire NOC before occupying any premises. The said notice further read that those persons who do not have a BU permission or fire NOC may apply for the same, failing which, appropriate action will be initiated against them.
This came in after an unfortunate fire incident took place in Shrey Hospital, Ahmedabad, which led to a loss of 8 lives.
Before doctors from the petitioner association could assess their position, notices were served upon them to provide necessary documents, in the absence of which their hospitals would be sealed within 3 days.
Representations were made by them before the Municipal corporations followed by a petition before the High Court, which was dismissed by order dated June 3, 2021.
In today’s hearing, Court clarified at the outset that continuance cannot be allowed in the absence of NOC and other necessary certificates.
Submissions were extended on Infrastructural needs given to the present pandemic; “In this case, Your Lordships may not look at the hospitals but at the people who have already been admitted and, God forbid, if a third comes, we would need capacity for admissions. We have already seen the height of helplessness of the people while fighting for a bed in Delhi”, asserted Mr. Singh
Learned SGI submitted, “At this stage it would be hazardous to allow so. Your lordships may pass an interim order.”
Court also recognized the need of setting different parameters for Nursing homes and smaller hospitals.
“Certainly, that demarcation has to be made”, responded the SGI.
Considering the present situation of the pandemic Court did not find it suitable to allow the operation of Municipal Corporation notification and granted an interim relief.
Matter has been listed after 8 weeks.