By LE Desk

New Delhi, May 6: The Delhi High Court today asked the Delhi government to treat as representation a PIL alleging there was overcharging for cremations and ambulance services going on in the national capital during the prevailing COVID-19 crisis.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jasmeet Singh said the representation be decided in accordance with the law, rules, regulations and government policy applicable to the facts of the case.

The court said the decision be taken as early as possible and practicable and with the observation disposed of the plea by NGO Distress Management Collective, news agency PTI reported.

Delhi government additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal told the bench that municipal bodies be also asked to treat the NGO’s plea as a representation as they are also running crematoriums.

A similar plea, by a lawyer, with regard to over charging by ambulances was not entertained by the court as it was of the view that it had been filed without doing any research.

The bench said it would dismiss the petition with costs or it can be withdrawn by the petitioner — Nimesh Joshi.

Subsequently, the plea was withdrawn.

The NGO, represented by advocates M P Srivignesh, Robin Raju and Deepa Joseph, in its plea had contended that “there is a dire need for a policy to regulate the charges levied for cremation and burials during these difficult Covid times”.

“It is seen that due to the lack of such policy, the caretakers and other private parties involved with the functioning of the crematoriums and burial spots specifically assigned for COVID-19 deaths, are charging for cremations and burials as per their own whims and fancies,” it had said.

The NGO had also said that ambulance service providers across Delhi were charging unjustified fares for even a short distance.

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