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KEY TAKEAWAYS

• Letter to the CJI, “there is absolutely no justification for permitting or condoning super spreading events that pose an unacceptable threat to human life in a negation of Article 21”

INTRODUCTION

In today’s article we are looking at the wake of the "gravity of threat to human life" posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Sr. Advocate Dr. Ashwini Kumar has urged the Apex Court to discharge its constitutional responsibility. In addition he has issue directions to the Central and State Governments for banning "super-spreading events" in his letter which we will look at in depth later on. In his letter to the CJI and the other judges of the apex court, the former law minister, he states that, “there is absolutely no justification for permitting or giving allowance for super spreading events that pose an unacceptable threat to human life in a negation of Article 21


DIRECTIONS MENTIONED IN THE LETTER

His in letter Senior Advocate Dr. Ashwini Kumar mentioned these 5 points as stated below:

  • He has asked to ban political rallies, protest assemblies, religious and festive congregations of more than 50 people until the situation is under control.
  • He has asked to ban the export of Covid vaccines;
  • He has requested to permit import of vaccines after ensuring of their efficacy to treat Corona
  • He has requested to make vaccines available to all age groups
  • He has requested to facilitate in-situ vaccination as far as possible but especially of the old and the infirm

DR KUMAR’S CONTENTIONS

In his letter Dr. Kumar has mentioned a super-spreading event, the recent Kumbh Mela being held in Haridwar, where almost 2,000 people have tested positive for the Coronavirus. In furtherance he also brings to light the election campaigns being held in different states, where political leaders have held massive rallies flouting Covid rules. In addition to this, he mentions that Festivals have also been celebrated where there have been gatherings in huge numbers, once again flouting the Covid rules. Dr. Kumar in his letter submits that despite the resurgence in the cases of COVID, "no purposive and effective action has been taken by the Central and State Governments on a universal basis across the country has to stop such gatherings, no questions asked, and that there is laxity even in enforcing the limited restrictions announced by some of the State Governments from time to time"

Dr. Kumar also brought to light another issue that is the situation demands an immediate halt to the export of vaccines in view of the number of cases continuing to rise in the country and many citizens being denied the urgent use of vaccines. The need for easy access to vaccines for all citizens of all ages as a protection against the deadly virus is self-evident"

Dr. Kumar has made it a point to stress on the fact that the Nation expects the highest Court, that is the Apex Court of the country, which is seen as the designated protector of fundamental rights, to exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction in these troubled times and vindicate its role as custodian of the constitutional conscience.

He concludes the letter by saying, "This Court has, on several earlier and lesser occasions shown the way in non-adversarial public interest causes as the present one. Evidently, as laid down by the Hon'ble Court in several of its celebrated pronouncements, the right to life stands at the pinnacle in the hierarchy of constitutional rights.”

CONCLUSION

What do you think about Dr. Kumar’s initiative? We as a nation are crippling with the virus, where shops are asked to shut, local businesses are collapsing, people are in debt all over again just as they were starting to recover from last year problems the States puts them in a fix all over again. So the question one should ask is why are some business classified as essential are allowed to run, the rest of the popular who earn their bread from their work are forced to sit at home and wait for better days? The irony here is that how rallies, and religious festivals are being allowed? If a rule is imposed, it should be universal and fair for all. Dr. Kumar’s letter in my opinion asks the right questions. What do you think about his letter, let me know in the comments below!


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