New Delhi: The Supreme Court came down heavily on the Centre for the botched-up situation of the country in view of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top court, in a suo moto proceedings on the Covid-19 crisis, asked a series of questions to the Centre about its plans on implementing a lockdown, oxygen distribution to states, vaccine prices and availability of medicines.
A bench comprising Justice DY Chandrachud, LN Rao and SR Bhat said that there have been some petitions in the court which raise entire local issues of grave importance.
The apex court on Friday took objection to the differential pricing of vaccine for the Centre, states and private hospitals and said it is “very very disturbing”.
The Supreme Court Hearing: Five Major Takeaways
- The court asked why cannot the government buy all vaccines and proceed on the lines of the national immunisation programme.
- It asked whether one state will get priority access over another in getting the vaccines and also sought to know how will the manufacturers ensure equity in the distribution of vaccines.
- The top court sought reply on whether there will be a lockdown.
- It passed order on the government to not take action against distress calls on social media. The apex court directed states, the Centre and all DGPs not to take any action against anyone posting a shortage of oxygen, beds or doctors as spreading the rumour. If any action is taken against such posts by citizens in distress, the court said it will haul the police for contempt.
- Solicitor general Tushar Mehta said he cannot agree more with the Supreme Court on this issue. The bench said that through a free flow of information on the deficiencies and needs during this humanitarian crisis on social media platforms, we will be in a better position to tackle the problem.