Updated: April 22, 2021 1:33:22 pm
Taking suo motu cognisance of the prevailing covid-19 pandemic situation in the country, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to put in place a national policy on issues relating to the supply of oxygen, essential drugs and method of vaccination.
During the hearing, the court also said that it will examine the judicial power of the High Courts to declare lockdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier on Tuesday, the SC had put on hold the Allahabad High Court order imposing “almost complete lockdown/curfew in five major cities of Uttar Pradesh”.
A bench headed by Chief S A Bobde and also comprising of Justices L N Rao and S R Bhat issued notice to the Centre and said it would hear the matter on Friday.
The apex court has stepped into the case at a time six High Courts across the country are hearing related petitions involving the crisis of oxygen, beds, and the anti-viral drug Remdesivir in hospitals. It also appointed senior advocate Harish Salve as amicus curiae to assist it in suo motu case on COVID-19 management.
The court’s observations come on a day when India set a global record in terms of fresh infections reported. With over 3 lakh new cases, India has reported the world’s biggest surge in Covid cases.
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