The Delhi High Court on Thursday issued a notice to AAP government on a PIL seeking closure of all unauthorized pathological and diagnostic laboratories being run by un-qualified laboratory technicians in the national capital.

The PIL has been moved by Bejon Kumar Misra wherein he also sought directions to the government to formulate a “robust policy in the interest of patients for regulating the functioning and opening of pathological laboratories in the NCT of Delhi and to constitute appropriate authority for regular checking of such laboratories”.

The petition also called for strict implementation of the Clinical Establishment (Registration and Regulation) Act of 2010 in Delhi.

The petitioner, through his counsel Shashak Deo Sudhi, Dr. Shashi Bhushan, Bijender P Kumar, and Dinesh Dakoria, said illegal pathological laboratories (path labs) were killing people by providing incorrect test reports.

Relying on a news report, the petitioner cited the example of an illegal pathological lab running in  Adharsh Nagar, northwest Delhi. The lab was operating illegally and had sent pathological reports to almost 98 outstation labs across the country. Almost 25,000 forged diagnostic reports were allegedly prepared by this illegal diagnostic lab.

The petition said, “National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL), under Quality Council of India (QCI) is optional and not mandatory before opening of a pathological or diagnostic lab in NCT of Delhi. Based on a data received from NABL, there are only 207 accredited medical labs in NCR region — Delhi – 132 Labs, Haryana (in NCR) – 36 Labs, UP (in NCR) – 39 Labs.

“As per the report published in an English daily, nearly 1,000 diagnostic labs are existing in Delhi NCR out of which only 10% are accredited by NABL.”

The counsel also stated how untrained technicians were preparing and signing test reports.

It is to be noted that the Supreme Court and various high courts have at different times passed orders calling for check on illegal pathological labs but its compliance on the ground remains far from effective.