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Background Facts

The Supreme Court has taken suo motu case to ensure supply of essentials and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Issues concerning projected demand for oxygen in the country at present and shortly and how the government proposes to allow it to critically affected states and further monitoring its mechanism to ensure supply.

Court's view and Directions

The bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice L Nageswara Rao, and Justice Ravindra Bhat

It is directed by SC Bench that the Centre has to formulate within two weeks a national policy on admissions to hospitals during this second wave of COVID-19 and no patient shall be denied essential drugs or hospitalization in any state for the absence of local residential proof or identity proof.

It also directed that both the Centre and State governments shall notify that any restriction on sharing of information on social media or any nuisance caused to individuals seeking help on any platform will attract coercive action and the court has jurisdiction.
The Bench’s view behind such order is that there should be a free flow of information and the voice of citizens must be heard and the presumption that the grievances raised on the Internet are always false should not be made during such time.

Further registrar directed to place a copy of this order before all district magistrates in the country and upload the same on SC website.

The bench also directed the government to ensure rectification in the supply of oxygen in the national capital. The CG shall collaborate with other states to prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergencies and decentralized the location of such stock. The emergency stock shall be created within the next four days from such order. Further, it asked the Centre to revisit on availability and price of vaccines and essential drugs.
The matter is listed for the next hearing on May 10.

What is your take on such Suo Moto action and directions issued by SC? Is it the need of Hour? Tell us in the comments below.

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