Karnataka HC will shortly hear a case registered suo motu after the Court received two letters on Covid-19 Management in the state.

Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar will hear the matter.

Bench: Yesterday, a staff of the HC died of COVID. His sample collected on May 10.

He has not received any intimation on whether he was positive. This is how the system works....

This is an eye opener. What action are you going to take, what remedial measures


We are taking on record a print out of the test test. Swab sample was collected on May 10, the lab received the sample after 22 hours. It appears that sample reported on May 11.

Till time of his death, result was not communicated to him.
There is a direction of the Court to provide results in 24 hours

This is a case where person was tested positive. Till his death, he was not communicated.

We are worried about implementation of orders of this Court and lives of citizens : Bench
We direct the State to initiate action against those concerned and submit report : Bench
On Vaccination

Last order says for 26 lakh, second dose is overdue. How and when are you going to give it ?

Where's your road map... We are asking you a simple question.

If you can't give or don't want to give, we will record that.
Is this the way you are going to implement the vaccination program? Bench

You have not even covered 1 percent of the population?

Bench: You tells us how many vaccines are available today.
State: State has a total stock of 12,32,960 doses of vaccines remaining (inclusive of both Government of India quota and state procured).

Bench: Will this be sufficient for 26 lakh people who need a second dose?
ASG Aishwarya Bhati now reading previous orders passed by the high court.

Read it the order, read it loudly : Bench to Bhati

The 26 lakh does not include the 5 lakhs of front-line workers. State has only over 11 lakhs vaccine.... for 31 lakh people : Bench

How are you going to bridge the gap? Bench to Centre

Second dose should be taken with 6 to 8 weeks, is it not correct?
If someone takes second dose of covaxin after 4 weeks and covishield, after 8 weeks, what will happen?

Is it not the right of a person under Article 21 to get the second dose in a timely manner : Bench

ASG: The stipulated period is ideal period. Over the ideal period the vaccine can be taken.....A core group is studying and in two days they will gives us report.

CJ: These are all excuses giving to us. You tell us how will you bridge the gap.

Is it not necessary that maximum people should get immunity? Bench

ASG: We have advised states to prioritize second dose. Even a buffer is to be kept for the second dose.

CJ: So do we take that govt of Karnataka has committed default?
ASG : I don't want to point fingers, we are facing this calamity together. We don't want to attribute any such misgivings to the state.....

Today the govt requires 14 lakh vaccine immediately so is it possible for you to provide that immediately, within 2-3 days : Bench to Centre

Bench to ASG: We will draw your attention to a letter written dated May 6, to the Government of India by State of Karnataka.

This shows the figures given today by the state are completely wrong.

Please tell us in percentage, how many people have received two doses? Bench

State : 22 lakhs
Over 6 crore is the population : Bench

Bench to ASG : Are you really suggesting that if one person takes first dose, he can take the second dose whenever? Even if it is late, that it is okay?
If people not given the second dose, it will be a huge national waste : Bench

We will make all possible endeavors to ensure that first dose does not go to waste. It is our duty to provide the second dose : ASG for Centre

State will give you the figures now...It is your duty to ensure that people will be getting second dose in timely manner....Have you issued any guidelines to States on vaccination? Bench

ASG: We have sent three letters.....asked the States to prioritize the beneficiaries who...
......are due for second dose of covid-19 vaccine and dedicate minimum of 70% of allocated vaccines from government of India channel for the second dose : Bench
Why has Karnataka violated all the guidelines? There is a serious lapse on your part... : Court to GOK (State)

Why have you not reserved 70% doses for second dose?

If you had done that, we would not have this problem now : Court

Correction: This submission was made by ASG** for Centre.
We will respond on these issues..... the 70-30 issue : AG Navadgi

Bench: Three things are clear.....
-Even stand of Centre is that endeavor should be made to give second dose,
-If not done, it will be a national waste,
-More importantly, people will not get immunity
ASG: We will do our best to provide it. Lordships may record it.

Bench: We also take it that possibility of giving first dose is ruled out now?...We don't see front-line workers getting the vaccine in the near future...

AG: Lack of vaccines is a global phenomenon.

You must come clean before the members of the public....come with the truth...some people are going to vaccination centres and coming back : Bench

You need to set a priority on who will get vaccines now : Bench

Your ministers and others should tell the truth to people......Tell the truth to the public, don't make any inconsistent statements to the public.

Put up the data of available vaccines on some website : Bench

Since you are facing a crunch, have you submitted your requisition for vaccines ....? Bench

We will have to find out : AG

Bench: We take it that Mr AG, second dose will be given priority and the first dose will been stopped.

AG: Yes, milords and order was passed to that effect, yesterday...

Bench to ASG: : Is that correct that State of Karnataka will be receiving 10 lakh doses of COVISHIELD and 3 lakh doses of COVAXIN during the month of May 2021.

ASG: It will be for the next quarter.

ASG informs that 8.94 lakhs available for 18 -44 age group.

Bench to State: Are you going to use that for second dose?

State: We have taken decision to give priority to give second dose.

Bench : Your written submission is silent on the doses available.

State: I will take instructions.

Bench says to an Adv for a private vaccination centre, that it is not looking at this issue now and that if there is any grievance, he should file a regular petition.
Senior Adv Jayna Kothari: Vaccines for disabled should be a priority.

Bench: Today you have heard the proceedings even if state of Karnataka gets vaccine, they will have to give priority to give second doses.
Bench: In fact in another petition, we have issued a mandamus to the state to give priority to persons with disability.

If the situation improves then we can go into the aspect of giving priority.

AG informs that the State of Karnataka has placed an order for 3 crore vaccines with Covishield and Covaxine and 1 crore doses are proposed through global tenders.
Court asks whether 8 lakh will be given as second dose?

ASG: It is a very dynamic situation....It is better to give as second dose so that first dose does not go to waste

Bench: The Centre's stand is very clear, all these 8 lakhs, will go as second doses.

ASG: These are only guidelines. Ultimately, States have to decide.
Adv Clifton Rozario: Central govt should clarify whether second dose can be given beyond the stipulated period.

ASG: Experts are working on it, the decision will be taken shortly...
Any wants to say anything, otherwise we will pass order on vaccination: Court

Plea concerning vaccination of persons with disabilities mentioned.

CJ: Today we are in a situation that there cannot be any first dose for anybody...

Order being dictated on vaccination: For the sake of continuing, we are reproducing the factual details...There are written submissions by State today...
Order (contd.): The written submissions seek to indicate that after the last order was passed, certain additional... was received. It is stated that on May 12, at 6 am State had 12.32 lakhs doses which included 50% quota from Centre ... to be utilised for vaccinating 18-44 ...
Court continues dictating order:

- 1.8 lakh (approx) doses administered on May 12.
- No categorical statement that all doses administrated to those whose second dose is overdue.
- Now the stand of the State is that in case 14.8lakh, official beneficiaries, second dose is overdue
Court order: We may record here that the figures which are stated today are inconsistent with figures placed before the court on earlier dates and figures part of the letter dated May 6 of State govt.
Court order contd: ... stand taken in written submissions - as of today, the second dose of #Covaxin after 4-6 weeks recommended, #Covishield after 6-8 weeks of the first dose
Court order contd: Para 9 of the memo by govt states that a body of experts is looking into the question of what happens if the timelines are not followed. ASG states that report of expert committee expected in few days.
Court order contd: ... there cannot be any distinction between the words "due" and "overdue"

It is the obligation of govt to ensure a second dose is provided.

If the second dose is not provided, it will be a violation of the Fundamental Rights of citizens under Article 21
Court order contd: Even in the case of those who have taken the first dose as of today, considering the availability of vaccines, more than 8 lakh citizens will not get the second dose.
Court order contd: ... Moreover, as per the written submissions by amicus curiae as of May,about 5.6 lakhs SCWs and FLWs are yet to receive 2nd dose. As of today, it is 5.28 lakh. This figure not accounted for by State when they gave the figure of (about)19 lakh
Court order contd: We may note here that, as earlier noted in May 11 order, 65,83,687 beneficiaries have taken the first dose as of May 5 and are awaiting the second dose.

The figure today must be much more.
Court order contd.: Therefore, the figure of overdue second doses of (approx) 19 lakh beneficiaries as of today will not remain static and by simple calculation, 2 lakh numbers will be added to the said figure.
Court order contd.: As per memo filed by GOI - In the first fortnight of May 21, 13,36,670 vaccine doses were provided to the State govt. This is out of 50% quota which state is supposed to procure from Central Govt
Court order contd.: In addition, the memo says, in the remaining 50%, the state of Karnataka has received 8.94 lakh to cover the 18-44 age group

The figure of 12 lakh of May 6 includes the said doses of vaccine for 18-44
Court records that there were three letters dated April 16, April 29 and May 6 where Centre had emphasised that States must ensure second doses of COVID vaccines should be prioritised and administered within timeline
Court order contd: We have already held the right to health integral part of Article 21... a part of the right to health.
Court: If those who are administered the first dose are not administered the 2nd dose as per timelines, apart from violation of fundamental rights of citizens under Art 21, if they are required to take the first dose again, "it will be a huge national waste of first dose."
Court: Taking the figure of the State as correct, even if the state govt receives more than 40 lakh doses in the second quarter of May, it will not be able to cater to need of all those who have taken the first dose.
Court: .... this is a fit case where a mandatory direction will have to be issued to both govts to ensure that sufficient quota of vaccine is procured which will ensure that all the persons to whom the second dose is due will get the second dose...
Court: In the normal course, we would have had no option but to pass such a direction..(But) ASG says that decision on allocation of vaccines in the second fortnight of May 2021 will be taken tomorrow
Court: ASG states that if the state govt immediately furnishes the entire district-wise data of persons to whom second dose is over due or likely to become over due in near future, centre will make every endeavour to bridge the gap ...
Court: It is in the light of assurance by ASG that, we are not issuing any mandatory direction today
Court grants State time to respond to queries as to why State overlooked Centre's advisories for prioritising the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
Court: It is absolutely necessary to abide by the said guidelines as a desperate and critical situation which is created today in the State can be avoided in the future.
Court order contd: Sum and substance of the guidelines appear to be now the first priority of the state to provide the second dose of vaccine.

As and when more and more vaccines are made available by the centre, equitable distribution of the second doses will have to be made.
Court: Mandatory for the state to ensure that a rational and fair formula is adapted for giving the second dose of vaccination.
Court: Centre will place on record the decision taken regarding allocation of the quota of vaccine to State for the second fortnight of May 2021 as soon as the same is taken.
Court: We also direct the State to place on record all the facts and figures, district-wise, regarding the second dose administered throughout the state. The state will place the same on record by May 19.
Court: ... very unfortunate, whatever vaccines are made available, will have to be used for the 2nd dose. Therefore, today we are not in a position to issue further directions.
Court: However, further steps taken at the district level based on guidelines shall be placed by the state by May 19.
Court takes up the issue of food security. Asks if the Atmanirbhar scheme is continuing. Whether food supply through Indira canteens is being continued, what State schemes are in place, whether food helpline is restored as directed earlier.
Court passes order seeking status on implementation of State and Central schemes for food security, incl supply of food through Indira Canteens in the State.
Court order: It goes without saying that... decision of the govt of India will have to be implemented in the state of Karnataka... we ask the state to take immediate steps to implement the said decision...
Court: In the first wave of pandemic or lockdown, orders were passed by this court on June 11, 2020 and July 2 ... that under the Atmanirbhar scheme of GOI, a person who is not holding ration card is entitled to 5kg rice, 1 kg dal (for free)
Court: We direct both govts to take a call on the issue of whether the benefits of the Atmanirbhar scheme as applicable last year can be extended to those who are not holding ration cards issued by any state.

The decision to be placed within one week
Court order: The AG assures the court that depending on the situation, the state will consider whether apart from cooked food through Indira canteens, whether ration kits can be made available to vulnerable sections
Court order contd.: As far as the scheme for supply of food through Indira Canteens, state shall place on record necessary details by next date
CJ: Whether helpline for food has been restored? Last order we had said...

State: Several other helplines, we have given publicity

CJ: Which is the helpline? Last order has specifically said that it is to be restored
Adv Clifton D'Rozario: It is operational, but if you call, they say there is no scheme to provide rations. That is the status.
Court order: We direct the state govt to take a decision immediately.

The reason is if such a helpline is created, the state will immediately know who are the persons deprived of benefits of the scheme for cooked food and the centre's scheme.
Court order contd.: We are of the view that it would be in the interest of all that... helpline is restored.

CJ: Indira canteen, you place info on record, how you are implementing the scheme. The data should be district wise
Court order contd: State will place data showing the number of beneficiaries of both schemes. Data shall be district-wise.
CJ: Right from Nilabehti Behra's case, Supreme Court has said that In case of violation of Fundamental Rights, a person can take recourse to public law remedies under Article 226, that court is not powerless
CJ: Mr AG, we are putting you to notice ... You will have to seriously consider prayer for compensation in WP. no. ...

Counsel mentions Aurangabad HC judgment where a person who died of COVID was granted compensation.
The court is now examining the issue of #oxygen supply in Karnataka

CJ: The problem is that every day, or every hour, the requirement will keep on varying ...
Court examines the issue of crematoriums.

CJ: Last rites have to be performed with dignity... availability of crematoriums

Details furnished on availability of crematoriums in Banglore as of May 10, State informs.
Court passes an order, records reports filed.

Order: Broadly, two issues will arise on basis of said report. First is in what manner, State is going to compensate the families of those who lost lives at Kamla Nagar due to failure of state agencies (to arrange oxygen) ...
Correction: *Chamrajnagar
The state will have to take steps to compensate families of victims. We are putting State to notice that question of exercising power to grant compensation, the decision will be taken by next date, Court says.
Upon submissions, Court notes that there would have serious consequences if persons who have died due to COVID-19 are allowed to be buried without a death certificate.

CJ notes: Death certificates is required for various benefits also
Court order passes order wrt to crematoriums and dignified burial of persons who died due to COVID.
Court says that it will hear the matter next date.

Court notes concern that the guidelines by State govt permit burial of person who dies due to COVID-19 without a death certificate. Govt says it will look into the aspect and respond on the next date.
This group of petitions shall be listed on May 20 for further hearing: Court
AG makes mention wrt to response sought for compensation of the 24 persons who died at Chamarajanagar

AG: Lordships can have my reply on any date after 24... will also be speaking to Honble CM about this...
Court: This is a case where the State should come out with some ad hoc compensation... requires immediate consideration.. come out with a response on Thursday...

AG says that it appears that there were lapses on part of district administration
CJ: We are repeatedly telling you, who is responsible to keep that aside.. prima facie, there was a lack of oxygen which lead to the deaths... at least some measure of compensation, the State needs to give to them.
CJ: There are various kinds of tragedies (where the State gives compensation immediately)

Justice Kumar: Tragedy where they drink spurious liquor you give competition within 5 hours!
Court has also recorded in order that apart from compensation, the second aspect that arises from the report submitted is with respect to responsibility of lapses. Court notes that an opinion has been formed that there was tampering of records.
Court says, for this reason, the earlier order that report is retained with Chief Secretary will continue. If any investigating officer requires it, the same may be made available by the Chief Secretary.
Court posts case next on Thursday.

Court records that AG will convene meeting so the issue of compliance can be discussed.

Counsel mentions that issue of home isolation of patients has not been taken up.

Bench has risen. Hearing over.

Correction - Justice Kumar: Tragedy where they drink spurious liquor you give **compensation within 5 hours!
COVID-19: "We are worried about implementation of Court orders, lives of citizens", Karnataka High Court in suo motu case [LIVE UPDATES]

#KarnatakaHighCourt #COVID19India


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