AAP vs Lt Governor VK Saxena Over Good Samaritan Scheme

He said that he was yet to receive a copy of the writ petition filed by the Delhi government.

AAP vs Lt Governor VK Saxena Over Good Samaritan Scheme

He said that he was yet to receive a copy of the writ petition filed by the Delhi government.

New Delhi:

Delhi LG VK Saxena has accused Arvind Kejriwal government of “shirking responsibilities” in ‘Farishtey’ scheme, expressing surprise that it filed a case in the Supreme Court alleging he was responsible for the stopping of the scheme.

Delhi Health Minister Saurabh Bharadwaj in a statement charged that the LG was being “misinformed” by the officers and demanded action against them.

In his letter dated December 14, Mr Saxena wrote to the Delhi Chief Minister “at the outset, I would like to put on record the very fundamental and generic fact that the scheme under question and the operationalisation thereof is under the departments of Health and Finance, which are fully transferred subjects as per the constitution and totally under the control of you and your ministers.” 

The LG referred in his letter to news reports, according to which, the Delhi government counsel attributed the stopping of the Farishtey scheme meant for road victims to him before the Supreme Court.

“Any attempt at attributing the failures of schemes, etc under such departments that are ‘transferred’, to anybody else, to say the least, the Lt Governor, is nothing but a pre-meditated exercise of hubris, aimed at shirking responsibilities and blaming others for your own failure,” Mr Saxena said.

The LG wrote that the total number of beneficiaries under the Farishtey scheme during 2022-23 was 3,698 and it stood at 3,604 in the seven months of 2023-24.

The government under the scheme in 2022-23 paid private hospitals Rs 4.85 crore and till October this fiscal, it had paid them Rs 3.54 crore, he said.

“These figures, prima facie, neither indicate a ‘halt’ of the scheme, nor do they support allegations of ‘non-payment,’ made by the Health Minister and endorsed by the Chief Minister – in fact they belie the claims,” Mr Saxena said.

“It is surprising that instead of obtaining full facts and circumstances of the matter from the concerned administrative department and coordinating with Delhi Arogya Nidhi/Finance Department, the minister Minister has preferred to file a writ before the Supreme Court,” he said.

Mr Bharadwaj, sharing data of the scheme launched in 2018, said the number of beneficiaries reached 6,131 in 2020-21 and then it declined to 5,456 in 2021-22.

In 2022-23, it further declined to 3,698 and this is when this matter was very seriously taken up by the then Health Minister Manish Sisodia, he said.

“Therefore I request the LG to ensure strict action is taken against the errant officers and necessary steps are taken to make payment so that the Farishtey Scheme does not collapse,” he said.

Mr Saxena alleged that what was being played out was nothing but a “characteristic game of disowning one’s own failures, ineptness and inefficiency and creating a public perception that one is not being allowed to work.” 

The LG also referred to a proposal of the health minister, submitted to him by the chief minister, for suspension of health secretary SB Deepak Kumar and former director general of health services Dr Nutan Mundeja for allegedly stopping the Farishtey scheme.

He said that Mr Kejriwal in his noting to him referred to the health minister’s proposal also for suspension and disciplinary action against the officers to the National Capital Civil Services Authority.

Mr Saxena also took exception to the health minister’s proposal on payment to hospitals on behalf of the beneficiaries, calling it “grossly erroneous and misleading.” “… as mentioned earlier, any decision for payments to be made has to be taken at your end and at the end of the Health Minister, since the subjects are ‘transferred’, and any role attributed to me therein, is nothing but mischievous,” he wrote.

Mr Saxena, however, said that he has referred the matter to the chief secretary to obtain a factual report before considering any action on the proposal.

He said that he was yet to receive a copy of the writ petition filed by the Delhi government for re-operationalisation of Farishtey scheme.

Mr Bharadwaj claimed the LG has been misinformed that a payment of Rs 3.54 crore has been made till October this year — the truth is that only Rs 2.08 crore has been paid, he said.

Non-payment of Farishtey bills to the private hospitals has led to denials of admissions of hundreds of accident victims, he claimed.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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