The Himachal Pradesh High Court ruled Wednesday that right to health is a human right and directed the Centre to provide full post-retirement medical benefits, including emergency reimbursement to government employees.
A division bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Sureshwar Thakur passed the order while dismissing an appeal filed by the Centre against a Central Administrative Tribunal order in favour of Shankar Lal Sharma. Sharma underwent a heart surgery after retirement at a cost of Rs 1.80 lakh, which the government declined to reimburse.
It observed, “The action of the Union of India not to reimburse the medical bills to the respondent and also not giving option to him and similarly situate persons residing in a city not covered under CGHS (Central Government Health Scheme) is illegal, arbitrary, capricious, discriminatory, thus, violative of Articles 14, 16 and 21 of the Constitution.”
Giving the government six months’ time to seek options, the bench said all central government pensioners residing in non-CGHS areas would be covered either by CS(MA) Rules, 1944 or CGHS as per the option they choose.
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