HC to hear private labs’ plea on May 7

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday adjourned to May 7 the hearing on a writ petition filed by a group of private diagnostic laboratories in the State challenging the order of the State government reducing the charge for RT-PCR tests from ₹1,700 to ₹500 in private laboratories.

When the petition came up for hearing, the court asked the government to inform the court about the power of the government to fix the rate for private laboratories.

The petitioners also contended that the government had no power to issue an order fixing the charge at ₹500 and making it mandatory for the labs to collect only the fixed charge. The laboratory owners argued that the average cost for an RT-PCR test comes to ₹1,500 per test when the present quality norms were adhered to. The rate revision would affect the quality of the RT-PCR tests.

The court also closed a public interest ligation seeking to reduce the prices of RT-PCR test in view of the slashing of the charge by the government.

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