The court, however, said, the government may consider as to whether any other categories of the weaker sections of the society e.g. workers belonging to low income groups in the informal sectors, beneficiaries of Direct Benefit Transfer, etc. apart from those covered under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana are also eligible for the benefit of free testing and issue appropriate guidelines in the above regard also within a period of one week.
The court said private labs may continue to charge Rs 4,500 as fees fixed by the ICMR from those who are able to pay.
The court’s order came as ICMR as well as a doctor, Kaushal Kant Mishra, urged it to modify the previous directions issued on a PIL by advocate Shashank Deo Sudhi.
“The order of April 8 is intended to make testing in private Labs of Covid-19 free for economically weaker sections of the society who were unable to afford the payment of testing fee,” the bench said.
“We further clarify that the order never intended to make testing free for those who can afford the payment,” the bench added.