Supreme Court Current Affairs - 2020

Supreme Court Calls for Uniformity in Fees for Covid-19 Testing

Since the outbreak of Covid-19 in India, the testing fees charged has been a point of discussion. On 19th June 19, 2020, during a hearing at the Supreme Court, it was observed by the bench comprising of Justice S.K Paul, M.R Shah, and Ashok Bhushan that the fee for Covid-19 testing must be uniform or same across the country and has asked the Central Government to fix an upper price cap. As per reports, in some states, people have charged as high up to Rs 4500 while in some other states the charges are as low as Rs 2200.

During the last week of May, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had removed the earlier upper price cap of Rs 4500 (set by ICMR on 17th March) that it had set for Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) tests. The Supreme Court Bench stated that the upper limit must be fixed throughout the country.

States that currently have Upper Price Cap

  • On 17th June 2020, the Union Home Minister taking note of the rising Covid-19 cases in the National Capital New Delhi has set a price cap of Rs 2400 in New Delhi.
  • Uttar Pradesh has set a price cap of Rs 2500 for RT PCR tests.
  • Maharashtra has a price cap of Rs 2,200 for private laboratories.
  • In Telangana as well the price cap for RT PCR test has been set at Rs 2,200

Covid-19 in India

Until 18th June 2020, India has conducted tests of 62,49,668 samples with 3,80,532 samples being reported positive. The recovery rate stands at 53.79 percent. With 13,586 cases on 18th June- The highest number of single-day positive cases were reported.

SC issues Notice over health insurance for Mental Illness

On June 16, 2020, the Supreme Court of India issued notice to the Insurance Regulatory Development Authority (IRDA) and the Union Government on providing Health Insurance for mental illness.

Highlights

In 2018, the IRDA had issued a circular asking all insurance companies to comply with the Mental Healthcare Act. According to the act, the mental illness is included under Health insurance. Also, it is mandatory for the insurance companies to include mental illness under their health insurance policies.

The act had made it mandatory for all the insurance companies to stick to its legislation provisions. This has been included under Section 21 of the Mental Healthcare Act. However, it has still not been implemented widely. The petitioner brought up this particular argument to which the SC has issued notice.

Background

The issue of mental illness is being brought up after the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput. The actor committed suicide in his apartment.