On 27th April 2021 in light of the ongoing COVID-19 scenario, the Hon’ble Madras High Court probed the preparation of the Central Government concerning the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Hon’ble division bench of Madras HC raised certain questions concerning the grave situation foreseen in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hon’ble HC questioned the central government as to “what the Centre has been doing over the past 14 months?” “Why are we acting only in April now though we had time for one year?” additionally the Hon’ble HC also remarked that despite having a lockdown for most of the last year, the situation of absolute despair we are in.
In continuation, the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Hon’ble HC made certain observations soon after the Additional Solicitor General (hereinafter referred to as”ASG”) stated that the COVID-19 surge was “unexpected” and that the measures taken to ramp up the availability of Remdesivir drug.
To which the Hon’ble CJI responded that “I have never met a respectable doctor who advised to drop the guard”. Adding that he did not mean to disrespect anyone the Hon’ble CJ questioned “Who are experts Central Government been consulting”.
Subsequently, the Hon’ble CJ stated that we have been relying on chances and the need of the hour is to act on expert advice and not ad-hocism and “All that we see here is that by June 2021 situation will be better. Moreover, the Hon’ble CJ also remarked that keeping in mind the critical situation India is facing “We all have to go in a planned and informed manner with expert advice”.
Furthermore, The Hon’ble Chief Justice asked the ASG about the vaccine pricing and also about the crash of the COWIN app, through which registration for vaccination has to be done. Saying that he also saw reports regarding the COWIN crash, the ASG said that he will address the bench on these aspects tomorrow “as there cannot be an ad-hocism about that”, the CJ asserted.
Finally, the Hon’ble bench while hearing the suo-moto case taken to monitor the issues relating to hospital beds, supply of oxygen, availability of drugs, and vaccination for the treatment of COVID-19 infected patients, stated that the matter will be further considered on the next date provided meanwhile experts consultation in the present matter is going on.