On 16th August 2021, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India directed a wife seeking monetary help for her spouse’s lung treatment to make a representation under the National Policy framed by the Union of India in the year 2021. The National Policy had been framed by the Government to help the needy people avail financial assistance for treatment of major ailments.

In this regard, a Division Bench constituting Justice Nageswara Rao and Justice BR Gavai stated that in case the bench could only permit the Petitioner to make a representation under the National Policy to the respondents including Government of India, PM CARES Fund, PM National Relief Fund, State of Madhya Pradesh, CM Relief Fund and Krishna Institute of Medical Science. The Court stated that applying under the national policy may help her obtain financial assistance.

The bench had been hearing a wife’s plea filed before the court which sought the release of approximately 1 crore from PM Cares & State CM Relief Funds for the monetary assistance for her spouse’s lung transplant treatment after spending her savings on his post-covid treatment. The Apex Court had earlier held that even though it had informed the petitioner that it would be unable to do much of the present matter, it, however, had issued a notice to the Union of India, on 6th August 2021 to submit a response informing whether it could provide any assistance in the matter.

The wife, in the plea, submitted that in the present circumstances she was entitled to receive financial assistance from the Government to save the life of her spouse. The plea stated, “Not providing necessary financial assistance to save the life of the husband of Petitioner is violative of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India.”

In the plea, she further stated that Respondent-P.M cares had a responsibility to provide the petitioner with the necessary assistance. The plea mentioned that, PM Cares Fund is a national endeavour to provide relief to the persons in a distress situation. The disbursement out of the said fund has to be done o a need basis and as per the Deed of trust which governs the fund. However, the said discretion has to be exercised in a reasonable manner and after p application of mind. The case of the Petitioner is a fit case where disbursement ought to have been made by Respondent.”

National Policy formulated in 2021 aspires to lower the high cost of treatment for serious ailments and rare diseases. In the present matter, the Bench referring to a recent newspaper report informed that  National policy that has been laid down by the Government in 2021 concerning some serious ailments which involve funds and financial aid. Explaining the policy, Justice Nageswara Rao stated that “The policy was to the effect that there was a boy who needed finance. The Kerala High Court passed some orders and people contributed money and collected a large amount. But the boy died. So question was that what will be done with the amount. So then in that connection, it was written that money is to transfer to this fund, under the policy of 2021.”

This news article has been written by Sayali Phanse.

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