The Centre informed the Delhi High Court on Friday that relaxation in cap of Rs 2 lakh cash transactions for COVID-19 treatment in hospitals is under active consideration. A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli asked the Finance Ministry counsel to apprise it of the development on Monday.
The counsel said the issue has been raised and it was under active consideration and some orders are likely to be passed in this regard during the day. The high court was hearing a plea seeking suspension of Section 269ST of the Income Tax Act which puts a bar on a person from receiving an amount of Rs 2 lakh or more, other than bank cheque, draft or electronic clearing system.
Petitioner Manisha Gupta, in her plea, said during the COVID-19 pandemic, the cap on cash transaction beyond Rs 2 lakh is creating a roadblock in the treatment of patients at the hospitals as hospitals are refusing to accept over and above the capped amount which in its turn is delaying the necessary treatment for the patient. Senior Advocate Sacchin Puri, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that persons suffering from COVID-19 are facing serious inconvenience on account of refusal of hospitals to accept cash beyond Rs 2 lakh towards the treatment.
The plea, filed through advocates Praveen K Sharma, Dhananjay Grover and Kamil Khan, said the patients are critical and if necessary treatment is not provided to them for want of payment of money, it would amount to violation of Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution. Second wave of COVID-19 is a case of national emergency and during these extraordinary times it is in the interest of people of this country that the cap on cash transactions be suspended for the time being only for the purposes of hospitalisation and treatment of a COVID-19 patient, it said, adding that the provision under the law be suspended till May 31 or till any further date.