The Delhi High Court Thursday granted the city government the “last opportunity” to place its response on the issue of providing free or cashless medical facilities to retired employees of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC).
The high court said in case the Delhi government fails to file its reply, its finance secretary shall appear in person in the court on September 19.
A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Sanjeev Narula noted that the court had earlier granted time to the Delhi government to file an affidavit about the action taken in the matter but no reply has been filed.
“The matter relates to medical facilities for retired DTC employees. Earlier also time was granted but no counter affidavit has been filed. As a last indulgence four weeks time is granted to the Delhi government to file its counter affidavit in the matter, failing which its Finance Secretary shall appear in person in the court,” the bench said.
It said in case the affidavit is filed before September 19, the next date of hearing, the officer will be exempted from personal appearance.
In September last year, the high court had taken cognisance of a letter written by a retired DTC employee stating that medical facilities are being provided only to serving officials under the Delhi Government Employees Health Scheme (DGEHS) and not to pensioners.
The PIL committee of the high court had recommended treating the letter as a public interest litigation.
The bench had issued notices to the Delhi government and DTC and sought their response to the PIL.
In the letter, the retired DTC employee sought direction to the authorities to provide free/cashless medical facilities to the retired staff of the corporation.
It said instead of medical facilities, Rs 500 per month is being paid to the pensioners because of which thousands of retired DTC employees are facing problems with regard to their medical treatment.
“If anyone suffers with serious illness, after retirement, then all earnings of the whole life will be gone at once,” the letter said, adding cashless medical treatment may be provided to pensioners in lieu of a monthly fixed medical allowance of Rs 500.
The retired employee said his son was availing himself of CGHS facilities but he was unable to show him as dependent since the man was getting pension.