Governance

A national emergency: SC slams Centre on COVID-19 mismanagement

The Supreme Court takes suo motu cognizance of the COVID-19 situation and might take over all related cases from high courts  

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Thursday 22 April 2021
It is a national emergency: Apex Court slams Centre on COVID-19 mismanagement
Photo: Wikimedia Photo: Wikimedia

The Supreme Court April 22, 2021 stepped in with a suo motu intervention, seeking accountability from the Union government over its handling of the second wave of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), media reports said. 

The Centre had already been facing flak from high courts across the country over the record-breaking number of daily new cases of COVID-19 hitting the country in the last one week.

The apex court asked the government in a notice about its status and strategy on the supply of oxygen, supply of essential drugs, method and manner of vaccination and power to declare lockdown.

“India is currently facing a national emergency-like situation,” Chief Justice SA Bobde was quoted as observing in the media.

Arguably, no health emergency has attracted such wide judicial scrutiny in the recent past. At least six high courts — Delhi, Bombay, Sikkim, Orissa, Calcutta and Allahabad — are monitoring and directing the state of preparedness in their respective states. Each of these courts has been bitter about the state’s preparedness.

“It is (many high courts monitoring the situation simultaneously) creating diversion and confusion,” the Chief Justice was quoted as saying.

Hence, the apex court ordered the Centre to submit the Union government’s plans and strategy on a number of things. The Supreme Court also observed that courts did have right to impose lockdowns.

Barandbench.com reported that the Supreme Court might take over all the high court cases as well.

“The Court said it will examine whether to transfer these issues from High Courts to itself at a later stage,” reported the web portal dealing with courts.

This is a developing story. More details will be added as and when they are reported

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