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Bombay HC seeks govt response on PIL raising ‘serious concerns’ over Covid-19 management

The plea claimed that insufficiency of facilities during the pandemic led to violation of fundamental rights of citizens of the state, including right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: April 21, 2021 12:04:09 am
Bombay HC, Covid-19Dead bodies stored in refrigerated coffins at Yerwada crematorium, Pune on Monday as the number of COVID-19 deaths surge. Express photograph by Arul Horizon

Observing that the issues raised are of “serious concern” during the Covid-19 spread, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the state government, Centre and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to respond to a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging improper management of Covid-19 treatment in Maharashtra.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni was hearing the PIL filed by city-based lawyer Sneha Marjadi, argued through advocate Arshil Shah. The plea claimed that insufficiency of facilities during the pandemic led to violation of fundamental rights of citizens of the state, including right to life and personal liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution.

Marjadi sought intervention to monitor the supply chain of Remdesivir injections, from pharmaceutical companies to procurement in hospitals, to stop black-marketing and profiteering.

The PIL also sought a status report on availability of beds in Covid-19 hospitals, laboratory test facilities and procurement of Remdesivir and oxygen. The plea sought court monitoring of the procurement of Remdesivir or any other medical drug used to treat Covid-19 under supervision of medical experts.

Noting that the PIL raised “serious concern on control and spread in pandemic” and an “issue of public importance”, the bench asked Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni to appear before it during the next hearing to address the issues raised on behalf of the state government. The court also asked the Centre and BMC lawyers to take “complete instructions” and respond to the PIL during the next hearing on April 22.

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