Apex court quashes govt review petition against providing free of cost COVID-19 test, treatment



Kathmandu / Nov 5: The Supreme Court has quashed the review petition filed by the government seeking judicial review of the verdict that ordered the government to carry out free PCR tests and provide free treatment to COVID-19 patients.

A full bench of Supreme Court judges Hari Krishna Karki, Sapna Malla Pradhan and Purusottam Bhandari ordered that the earlier verdict of the apex court would not be reviewed.

Responding to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by advocates Kesharjung KC and Lokendra Oli, the apex court directed the government to provide free testing and treatment facility to COVID-19 patients.

On November 2, the Ministry of Health and Population had registered a petition at the apex court seeking review on the verdict directing the government to manage COVID-19 treatment and testing for free. The petition seeking review was filed by Laxman Aryal, Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population, through the Office of the Attorney General.

As the court rejected the review petition, the government now has to provide free COVID-19 testing and treatment to all those infected with COVID-19.

The government earlier last month had decided to provide free of cost treatment to only poor, helpless, single women, differently-abled citizens, senior citizens, frontline health workers, sanitation staff and security personnel even as the apex court directed the government to provide free of cost treatment to all COVID-19 patients.

Earlier on October 1, a joint bench of Justices Ananda Mohan Bhattarai and Tanka Bahadur Moktan at the apex court had ordered the government to carry out free PCR tests, and provide free treatment to COVID-19 patients.

However, the government wanted the court to overturn the verdict, citing the factor that the constitution nowhere requires the government to provide free of cost services.



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