The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that private hospitals in Delhi that were given land at concessional rates will have to provide free treatment to poor people, the Hindustan Times reported.

Justices Arun Mishra and S Abdul Nazeer said they will treat as contempt of court any violation of an agreement between the government and private hospitals to reserve 10% of the beds and 25% of outpatient clinics for poor patients. The scheme ensures poor patients receive free treatment, medicines and tests.

The judgement will affect four hospitals – Moolchand, St Stephen’s, Sitaram Bharatia and Rockland – that contested the government’s position. The petitioner asked the court to also direct BL Kapur Hospital and Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital to follow the order.

Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Hospital, however, denied that it had bought subsidised government land. “We neither received the land on concessional rates nor was there any mention of such a clause in our agreement,” said the hospital’s Medical Superintendent Dr S Khetrapal.

The court was hearing a petition filed by lawyer Ashok Agarwal.