The High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the J&K Government and other respondents in a petition challenging the recently introduced Group Mediclaim insurance scheme referred to as “Chief Minister’s Group Mediclaim Insurance policy”, which has been made mandatory for all government employees of the state.
One Gulbadin Ahmed Mir has moved a petition through his counsel Advocate Altaf Lone stating therein that the policy scheme has been trusted upon the employees unnecessarily.
It was stated that the main purpose and the object of the scheme was to provide and cater to the health needs of employees of J&K but unfortunately just two hospitals from Srinagar (not hospitals in strict sense as the same are just clinics) and 18 hospitals (most of them are just clinics) from Jammu have been empanelled and rest of the hospitals are out of State with most of them located in southern and eastern India like in Telangana, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal etc which are practically inaccessible to the stakeholders as such the basic purpose of the scheme got frustrated and the same has been introduced only to shower benefit upon a non-governmental Insurance Policy.
It was submitted before Court that fresh Policy along with the Government order is bad in the eyes of law as prior to the introduction of the supra mentioned scheme, there has been already a medical insurance in vogue in terms of J&K Civil Services (Medical Attendance and Allowance) Rules, 1990 by virtue of which, medical expenses are reimbursed to a Government employee after proper treatment.
Furthermore it was stated that not only the insurance benefits were extended to the Government employees, another insurance cover known as Group Personal Accidental Insurance Policy has also been introduced and mandated over the employees including the petitioner and in consequence of which premium was also deducted from the salaries, therefore there was no occasion to introduce the fresh policy.
It was pleaded through the petition that Mediclaim Insurance Policy has been passed in hot haste without application of mind as such deserves to be overturned.
It was also submitted that by making the scheme mandatory and the deduction of premium without consent is virtually a punishment which cannot be done without affording the petitioner an opportunity of being heard as such the same is also violative of Principles of Natural Justice, therefore cannot withstand the test of legality.
It was also informed through the petition that without proper tendering Reliance General Insurance has been awarded the contract which appears as malicious.