Guj HC | ‘Harrowing Tales, Unfortunate and Unimaginable Difficulties’ HC takes suo moto cognizance due to upsurge in COVID-19 cases and asks what steps Government will take

Gujarat High Court: The Division Bench of Vikram Nath, CJ and Bhargav D. Karia, J., had a dialogue with the Senior most State Law Officers, Advocate General and Government Pleader expressing concern regarding the upsurge of COVID-19 cases in the State and requesting the State to take appropriate measures in order to check and control the rise in COVID-19 cases and its management.

It was stated that the said dialogue was widely reported in the media.

Bench noted that the newspapers, news channels have been flooded with the harrowing tales, unfortunate and unimaginable difficulties, unimaginable conditions of the infrastructure, shortfall and deficit of not only testing, availability of beds, ICU, but also the supply of oxygen and basic medicines like Ramdesivir, etc.

Further, the Court expressed that the above news could have been ignored if it would have been some stray news here and there, but the volume of the report in the leading newspapers having been nationwide circulation could not be ignored.

Articles from Indian Express and Times of India indicate that the State has been heading towards a health emergency of sorts.

Hence, in view of the above High Court directed the Registry to register the present matter as a suo moto fresh Public Interest Litigation titled — “In Re : Uncontrolled Upsurge and Serious Management Issues in COVID Control”.

The above Order was passed on 11th April, 2021 and was to be heard today i.e. 12-04-2021.

Here’s the update on today’s order:

State’s stand was justified by Mr Kamal Trivedi, Advocate General. He submitted that the newspaper reports were not accurate in reporting except for a couple of incidents where he admitted of State agencies’ fault.

To the above submission, Court stated that it would require an appropriate affidavit duly sworn by an officer of the rank of Principal Secretary placing the submissions of Mr Trivedi and further steps which the Government may take in the meantime.

Matter to be again placed and take up on 15-04-2021. [Suo Motu v. State of Gujarat, R/WP (PIL) No. 53 of 2021, decided on 12-04-2021]


Advocates before the Court:

SUO MOTU (25) for the Applicant(s) No. 1

MR KAMAL TRIVEDI, SR. ADVOCATE WITH MS. MANISHA LAVKUMAR, GOVERNMENT PLEADER WITH MR DHARMESH DEVNANI & MR CHINTAN DAVE, AGPs. FOR THE STATE RESPONDENTS

MR DEVANG VYAS, LEARNED ADDL. SOLICITOR GENERAL FOR THE UNION OF INDIA

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