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High Court directive to Defence Accounts (Air Force)
May, 28th 2008

Directing the Union Government to fully reimburse medical bills of its employees covered under the Central Government Health Scheme (CGHS), the Delhi High Court has directed Defence Accounts (Air Force) here to defray all hospital expenditures incurred by one of its senior auditors for undergoing open heart surgery at a private hospital here.

The Senior Auditor, K.N.S. Bindra, had been operated upon for coronary heart disease at Escorts Hospital. Since he was covered under CGHS, the hospital had billed the amount of Rs.2.64 lakh to Defence Accounts (Air Force).

Though Defence Accounts (Air Force) paid the total amount to the hospital, it told Mr. Bindra that he would have to pay Rs.70,000 of the total treatment expenditure to it as he was not entitled to full reimbursement of the medical bill.

The Defence Accounts had also started recovering Rs.70,000 from Mr. Bindra by making deduction from his salary at the rate of Rs.6,000 per month.

Mr. Bindra moved the Delhi High Court through his counsel Sunil Kumar submitting, among other things, that the Supreme Court as well as the High Court had made it clear on many occasions in the past that the Government was obliged to fully reimburse medical bills of its employees.

Admitting his contention, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice S.K. Kaul and M.C. Garg imposed costs of Rs.10,000 on the Defence Accounts for ignoring the Courts directions in the matter.

The Bench directed it to pay Rs.5,000 to the petitioner for harassing him mentally and deposit the remaining amount with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Authority.

It also directed it to refund total amount deducted so far from the salary of the patient.

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