<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought the response of several public sector insurance firms on whether any policy was being offered to people suffering from HIV-AIDs. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Harishankar’s query came on a petition which sought inclusion of HIV positive and AIDS-afflicted people in life and health insurance policies with consequential benefits.The court, while posing the question, also directed the PSU insurance firms to forthwith take a stand and comply with the guidelines of Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).”Inform this court about your (insurance firms) stand on making available insurance services to people afflicted with HIV and AIDS,” the bench said and asked them to file an affidavit and listed the matter for January 22 next year.Appearing for the Centre, its counsel informed the court that the HIV and AIDS (Prevention and Control) Act, mandates equality of people and prohibits any discrimination against people suffering from HIV or AIDS.The counsel for the state-owned insurance companies submitted that the issue was under consideration and they required time but were ready to follow the guidelines of the IRDA. Earlier, the court had issued a notice to Ministry of Health, public sector insurance companies and the IRDA seeking their responses. The plea had alleged discrimination against people with HIV and AIDS (PLHAs).The petition filed by Rajeev Sharma has alleged that there was no “effective progress and implementation of any insurance policies for the benefit of PLHAs”.The court has tagged the matter with another similar pending petition which had the grievance of non-availability of the facility of insurance for children born with congenital or birth defects.The plea had contended that the Centre had in 2013 said that by April 1, 2014, the insurance cover would be available to all PLHAs, but nothing has happened.
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