The Supreme Court to begin hearing at 12 noon the suo motu case on distribution of essential supplies and services during the pandemic.


SC clarifies purpose of suo motu cognisance not to supplant judicial process in high courts…
Senior advocates Jaideep Gupta, Meenakshi Arora appointed amici curiae in SC’s suo motu Covid case

SC wants answers from Centre about oxygen supplies, vaccinations and health infrastructure

Supreme Court commences hearing.

Justice Chandrachud- The purpose is to identify the issues of national importance. The issues which concern local issues should be addressed by the high courts.

Justice Chandrachud is reading out the issues he has framed.

1) What is the mechanism to display allocations of supply to different States by the Centre? Can a mechanism be maintained (with daily allocation update) of how much supply is being made to States from the Centre end..
.... and the real-time update on software from state/district end indicating to citizens which hospital has been supplied oxygen and the quantities remaining such that it is easy for a citizen to identify the medical aid available.

~ What are the restrictions, short of a lockdown, that centre is taking to curb the spread of the virus?

~ What sort of efforts has the govt made in term of increasing the availability of tankers, cylinders and by when does it expect the supply of 800 additional tankers [No details have been given in the affidavit of Centre]

SC: Why is the Central Govt not buying 100% of the doses produced, considering the gravity of the pandemic&since it is the best place to determine equality in distribution of doses to states? When will the disbursal of 50% of centrally procured doses be communicated to states
SC: What is the rationale of distinct pricing of central versus state procurement? Can the Centre and states indicate the current and projected availability of vaccine stocks for the next 6 months with projections of its plan for vaccinating the population? #Covid19
SC: Can attempts at continual transparency be made through tweaks to the CoWin portal to avoid chaos in vaccine administration across states? Will Serum Institute and Bharat Biotec have to demonstrate equity in disbursing vaccines between states?

SC: Current eligible population (person over 45) has not received the second dose in some states due to vaccine shortage. By when does the Centre plan on issuing a communication to clarify availability and if walk-in facilities will be allowed.

SC: Can the Centre place on affidavit the exact breakup of vaccine distribution on proportion to state population of 18-44 years, in order to ease out bargaining power inequalities?

SC: How the responsibility has been divided between the Centre&States in relation to the availability of beds and testing centre. If States/UTs are responsible for ensuring their local capacity what role is the centre playing in assisting the States which are unable to keep up
SC: There are multiple news reports that a new variant of Covid19 is not being picked up by regular RT-PCR tests-what has INSACOG found about this?

The Supreme Court warns state DGPs of contempt action if citizens are harassed or victimized for flagging nonavailability of oxygen and essential medicines over the internet.

Justice Chandrachud says there should not be any clamp-down on information shared on the internet by needy people.

SG Tushar Mehta agrees with the Court.

Justice Ravindra Bhat: India was at the forefront in TRIPS negotiations on compulsory licensing. The present crisis is the most case for the same.

Justice Chandrachud: How will manufacturers determine equity. Invoke your (Centre) powers to see that additional facilities are created for vaccine manufacturing.

Justice Chandrachud: This is not an adversarial proceeding. We are concerned about the health of our citizens.

SG Mehta: We are grateful that the court is examining the matter.

Justice Chandrachud: The intervention of the SC must make some difference. Tell us what will be the change between today and next week when we will take up this matter again. The reality is there is a shortage of #oxygen in some states. #Covid19
SG Mehta: More and more tankers will ease the problem. There is a virtual control room that is working 24x7 and any state which has an emergent need can contact the control room for such assistance. #Covid19
Justice Chandrachud: Is it your case that the inability of Delhi to get oxygen because the NCT govt is not able to lift it?

SG Mehta: Yes.

SC: What is the solution? what do we tell people dying for one? What are you doing?
Justice Chandrachud to SG Mehta: Centre has valuable responsibility for the citizens of Delhi. It does not have full statehood. If Delhi has asked for 700 MT, then provide it.

"Speaking for myself, my conscience is shaken, please do something, Justice Chandrachud tells Mehta
Justice Chandrachud to SG Mehta: Forget the inability of the Delhi govt to lift the tankers, you as the Centre has a special responsibility. You have to push through since you have to save lives. #Covid19
The court rises for the lunch. Hearing to resume at 2:30 pm.
Hearing resumes.
What has fallen from the Court with regard to oxygen supply to Delhi will be duly respected, SG Mehta tells the Court

Justice Chandrachud to Delhi Govt: We also want to send a message to you that you need to cooperate. There should be no political bickering. We want cooperation between the Delhi Govt and Centre

Sr Adv Rahul Mehra: We will take all this in the right spirit. #Covid19
Sumita Dawra, Additional Secretary to Govt of India, is now making a PPT presentation before the court on Oxygen-related issue for Covid19 management.

Dawra: We have sufficient oxygen production in the country. #COVID19
Dawra: There is enhanced production of oxygen in the country about 6000MT per day in Aug 2020 to about 9000 Mts per day as on date.

New oxygen plans were commissioned in Modinagar (Inox), Pune (Air Liquide).

Dawra: RIL Jamnagar had added another 700 Mts to LMO and slated to increase further.

Total about 2000 Mts daily enhanced in the month of April 2021 alone.

Dawra: Demand for MO is mostly concentrated in West (Maha, Gujarat, Raj), North (UP, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab) and Central India (MP, Chattisgarh).

Dawra: To meet the demand, a supply plan for oxygen has been planned wherein states are mapped to oxygen sources and quantity specified within a rolling plan. #Covid19 #OxygenShortage
Dawra is apprising the court of routes through which oxygen is transported
Dawra is sharing the allocation summary of the Oxygen supply for April 29 onwards #Covid19
Dawra: Issuing license to industrial gas manufactures to manufacture medical oxygen was give.

Permitting conversion of cylinders/tankers for other gases(nitrogen/argon/LNG) for storage and distribution of medical oxygen
Dawra: Allowing conversion of liquid nitrogen/argon tankers to be used for transportation of LMO
Darwa: Enhanced production of LMO in steel plants, enhanced availability of oxygen from steel plants due to reduction in safety stock requirement from 3.5 days to 0.5 days. #OxygenShortage
Darwa: Augmentation in the availability of tankers for transporation: From 1172 on April 11 to 1632 on April 28

Sr. Adv Rahul Mehra: As early as on April 17, the Delhi Government's additional secretary had written to the Centre to allocate 700 MT #oxygen to Delhi. To say we demanded more oxygen just recently is not correct.
SG Mehta: In some writ petitions before the HCs, some strong observations are being made to put the central government in dock, or state govt in the dock. It should be avoided. #Covid19
Sr. Adv Ranjit Kumar for Bihar govt says very strong remarks demoralizing the officers are being made. #Covid19
Justice Chandrachud: We as judges also exercise restraint. so may be off-the-cuff remarks by a judicial officer can be avoided.
Justice Bhat: HC Judges are also stressed about the local situation. So they may be making some strong remarks. We cannot be too fragile to get offended.
Bench rises for the day. The matter will be listed on May 10. The interim order to be out on Court's website tomorrow.

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More from @TheLeaflet_in

29 Apr
The Delhi HC tells the Centre to look at the logistics problem being faced in the transportation of #Oxygen to Delhi.
Delhi HC directs the Delhi govt to file a status report with regard to the number of RT-PCR tests conducted by the accredited labs in the last 7 days, along with the testing capacity of these accredited labs and the reasons for the fall in the numbers of tests conducted by them
"We have to shun selfishness, greed&indifference.We, therefore, appeal to the good sense of the people, including the sellers of necessary medicines&Oxygen, to not to resort to hoarding of, and black marketing of Oxygen cylinders, Oxygen flow metres or medicines", Delhi HC says.
Read 4 tweets
28 Apr
SC's order in suo motu Covid case is out. Says the purpose of the court taking suo motu cognisnace is not supplant or to substitute the judicial process which is being conducted in several High Courts. No justification to interdict the High Courts.

#Covid19 ImageImageImage
On supply of oxygen, the SC seeks the following information from the Centre:

(a) The projected demand for oxygen in the country at the present point of time and in the foreseeable future;

#COVID19 ImageImageImageImage
(b) The steps taken and proposed to augment the availability of oxygen, meeting both the current and projected requirements;

(c) The monitoring mechanism for ensuring the supply of oxygen, particularly to critically affected States and UTs as well as the other areas;

Read 18 tweets
27 Apr
#Breaking: Allahabad HC takes judicial notice of a news item stating that 135 teachers, Shiksha Mitras&investigators, who were assigned election duty, have died. Sends a notice to state election commission to explain why action should not be taken against its officials

Allahabad HC dismisses the plan placed by the UP government to curb the pandemic. Says seeing "Sursa like mouth" of the pandemic, the government must come with more stringent measure.

HC: We make it clear that we will not tolerate any paperwork or public announcements to show account of the steps taken and its sufficiency as it is now an open secret that government had gone complacent due to weakening of virus impact by the end of 2020 in the state. #COVID19
Read 11 tweets
27 Apr
The Centre, in its affidavit in the SC, says it has been working hard for over a year to ensure that a maximum number of Indians are able to get the vaccine in the shortest possible time.

"India is vaccinating people at world record pace,", the affidavit states

The Centre adds that it has been continuously working towards getting the production of #Remdesivir ramped up on a war footing.

"The Government is also monitoring the supply and distribution Remdesivir and Tociluzumab through NPPA and CDSCO", the affidavit states.

"The Central Government, with active and constant
supervision and direct involvement of the Prime Minister and the Home Minister is augmenting the #oxygen supply on a war footing evolving and implementing innovative measures", the Centre's affidavit says.

Read 7 tweets
6 Mar
A Karnataka court prohibits 68 media houses from telecasting, publishing, circulating, posting, accommodating or transmitting any defamatory news items or showing footage and pictures of six state ministers in relation to the alleged CDs.
Court: Prima facie although no C.Ds. are released, yet which are claimed in the said news items, it is being sensationalized that there are 19 more C.Ds.
Court: Of 19 influential persons and they may be released any time and they pertain to sex scandals& there is even reference to some Ministers. From the said printouts it is prima facie seen that Media houses have still not received any CDs but news items are being telecasted.
Read 7 tweets
25 Feb
Allahabad HC rejects the anticipatory bail plea of Aparna Purohit. Says western filmmakers have refrained from ridiculing Lord Jesus or the Prophet but hindi filmmakers have done this repeatedly and still doing this most unabashedly with the Hindu Gods and Goddesses.

Allahabad HC: This Court further takes notice of the fact that a number of movies have been produced which have used the name of Hindu Gods and Goddesses and shown them in a disrespectful manner (Ram Teri Ganga Maili, Satyam Shivam Sundram, P.K., Oh My God, etc.).
Allahabad HC: Not only this, efforts have been made to subvert the image of historical and mythological personalities (Padmavati). Names and icons of faith of majority community have been used to earn money (Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram Leela).
Read 12 tweets

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