#MadrasHighCourt hears suo motu case concerning COVID-19 management in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Matter before Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy.

Track thread for live updates.

Is the State govt represented?: CJ

Govt Adv Suresh says he is representing

Do you have instructions?: CJ

Addl status report has been filed: Suresh

On 30th we took up matter. Because of change in govt, naturally.... we were wondering if state is adequately represented..: CJ
ASG says he has filed a typeset. 1 lakh 35k vials of #Remdesivir allocated for TN for period between April 21-May 9

CJ: Mr Sankaranarayanan, no point doing anything unless the State govt is represented.
CJ to ASG: Maybe one or two things may be indicated to you... may take one or two days to appoint law officers (after change in govt)... but the virus is not waiting for anybody... whether it is a change of govt or whatever.

CJ: When does #Sterlite begin its oxygen supply?
ASG: I will make a note... whether the matter is heard tomorrow or not, will file a report tomorrow

CJ: All of India will benefit by that...

The virus does not choose one state or another, CJ adds.

Court: We must all be together, we must all cooperate.. the post mortem can happen later. We have to tackle it. That's why we have prefaced our orders by saying we are not experts... we only just want to monitor.

CJ to Govt Advocate: Mr Suresh please communicate to the health secretary, we will reconvene to find out what is happening.

#MadrasHighCourt flags crucial areas of concern:

1. Oxygen, venitlators, beds - one key area.
2. Drug #Remdesivir and concerns of black-marketing -what steps are being taken

"There's a report also of a doctor having participated in it", CJ observes.
3rd area of concern is #COVID19 vaccination, Court notes that 2 lakh 75k doses were stated to have been made available to TN today, 2 lakh #Covishield and 75k #COVAXIN

You give us an inoculation program and it has to involve some amount of equality in how that is done, CJ says
The fourth area of concern is the continuation of COVID protocol, ensuring COVID containment zones are in place where required etc, CJ observes.

CJ: We wont tell you, do this do that.. you have that authority, support.. whatever is necessary, just to remind you human life is more important... other things can wait... but human life is of greatest importance

CJ: What happens in all these calamities, you and i... always have the resources to get away with it. It is only at the bottom (that impact is felt).

CJ to State counsel: Inform Health Secretary that we will be meeting tomorrow afternoon. We want information from Central govt and Health secretary

CJ: Also Mr. ASG, a lot of aid has come in from Germany, Europe ... even small countries like Romania but they appear to be stuck in airports... there must be some clarity...

CJ to ASG: It's only for saving lives...Such aid includes oxygenators which help in generating oxygen. If you could just please find out about that.

Senior Advocate P Wilson makes submissions

@PWilsonDMK: What has happened, certain States by consent have decided for allocation of 510 (oxygen) per day.

That has been forwarded to Central govt. An empowered group of secretaries has kept it on hold citing some other proceedings
Wilson: ... but that (the proceedings cited) has nothing to do with TN or southern states. Let ASG get instructions. Because #oxygen supply is running out.

CJ: Centre may not have adequate supply (of oxygen). We may have to generate some of our own. Find out whether #Sterlite (will produce) because it has been a week since it was opened

CJ again reiterates that allocation of Oxygen must be on a pan-India basis, and if there is excess, it must be equitably distributed.

There is no point in Delhi cornering everything for itself or WB or some other State. We must all equitably share it, CJ adds

CJ: We hope the Central government does it on rational and reasonable considerations and no other considerations.

Wilson: Southern States have agreed for it (allocation of 510 MT per day). Central govt cannot cite some other proceedings... we are heading towards Delhi, milord


Justice Ramamoorthy to ASG: Is there some indication on the basis for allocation (of Oxygen)?

ASG says allocation is as per the prevailing situation in the State: In Maharashtra, cases are more, therefore it is more there... Some rationale is there. Smaller states have got less.
Justice Ramamoorthy: If you indicate this (basis for oxygen allocation), people will not fight over this

ASG: I bow down and say it is an all India problem.. there is no question of discrimination... What Mr Wilson said, I will come back tomorrow.

#MadrasHighCourt #CovidIndia
Situaition is dire in Puducherry for an area and ppulation so small, CJ observes.

Advocate Sreedhar informs there were 2000 positive cases yesterday in Puducherry.

#MadrasHighCourt #CovidIndia
Sreedhar adds that he had earlier moved a PIL against liquor sale amid COVID-19. Informs, govt has banned alcohol sale in Puducherry till May 10, urges that this should be extended.

Additionally prays that cigarette sale also be halted.

#MadrasHighCourt #CovidIndia
Adv Sreedhar: At least, let them stop the sale of cigarettes for two weeks

CJ: Please don't waste time by pushing your agenda... there is no scientific basis for what you are saying... Let us not go by this puritanical attitude

#MadrasHighCourt #CovidIndia
To support plea to halt cigarette sale, Sreedhar refers to a report where a Union Minister had also raised concern over the issue, highlights that lungs get affected due to COVID.

CJ: You are pushing your agenda using the calamity as an excuse!

#MadrasHighCourt #CovidIndia
Government Pleader Mala, for the State of Puducherry informs that there are three #oxygen manufacturing units in Puducherry producing 82 MT per day

CJ: Does it meet the requirement?

Mala: Requirement is 20 MT. No oxygen shortage as of now in Puducherry.

Government Pleader Mala also makes submissions on the availability of beds.

CJ: Please impress on secretary.. that transition or changeover (of Govt) does not lead to any let up in the fight against the virus. Get the latest number on the incremental number of beds, vaccines.
CJ: Tomorrow post-lunch we'll be meeting, let us try and get a better picture.

#MadrasHighCourt #COVIDSecondWave
Adv Sriram says he has filed a PIL against allowing family, attendants in COVID wards, hospitals, says hospitals have become a breeding ground for COVID

CJ observes that Court cant issue directions; can only tell govt to consider this.
You are not an expert, we are not experts. Govt will take appropriate measures based on expert advice. We will also bring it to their attention, CJ tells Adv Sriram.

#MadrasHighCourt #COVIDSecondWave
Adv KG Senthilkumar urges court to consider plea for use of Siddha to boost immunity.

Court: We will consider

Adv C Kanagaraj says a complete lockdown is required in Tamil Nadu.

Court: Forward petitions to ASG, if there are good suggestions, we can look into that
Court to Sr Adv Wilson: There were celebrations immediately after elections.. we had appealed to you, to your rank and file that there should be no bursting of crackers... there was widespread bursting of crackers in your office

@PWilsonDMK : We prevented it. We called the police because the public started coming and doing this. .. it was completely stopped.. leader also gave a press release..

Court: Very good

CJ urges that there should not be any rallies etc. during tomorrow's swearing-in ceremonies.
Rallies and celebrations can take place after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides, Court observes.

CJ: Right now may not be the appropriate time. We appeal to you. We know that the leaders are not doing it, most people didn't even come to the office... we appreciate it
CJ adds that the concern is that the persons participating in such celebrations may risk not only themselves but others, since many may be asymptomatic COVID-19 carriers.

#MadrasHighCourt #COVID19
Wilson suggests IAS officer that is managing the TN health services also be present to assist the Court tomorrow.

CJ agrees, says such officer may also appear, subject to convenience, and provided more crucial work on the ground is not being hampered.
Matter to be taken up tomorrow afternoon. Hearing over


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