Case BriefsHigh Courts

Bombay High Court:  A Division Bench of Dipankar Datta, CJ and Sarang V. Kotwal, J., took up a matter highlighting the concern regarding the inflated charges for Personal Protective Equipment Kits (PPE) by private hospitals and nursing homes.

Petitioner raised the concern that in view of the pandemic, private hospitals and nursing homes have been charging for Personal Protective Equipment Kits on a cost more than the procurement costs.

In view of the above stated concern, petitioner sought a direction for imposing a cap on the prices of PPE Kits charged to COVID/NON-COVID patients in private hospitals and nursing homes.

P.P. Kakade, Government Pleader a/w Nisha Mehra, AGP for State.

Ish Jain a/w Kiran Jain a/w Amruta Thakur for respondent 4.

Therefore, Court directed the parties to file affidavit stating their responses after which on 07-08-2020, the present PIL will be taken up for further consideration. [Abhijit K. Mangade v. State of Maharashtra, 2020 SCC OnLine Bom 827, decided on 28-07-2020]

COVID 19Hot Off The PressLegislation UpdatesNotifications

UPDATE

Order regarding shortage of staff in the non-COVID hospitals due to infection of Doctors and Staff, is kept in abeyance till further orders.


Earlier Order

It is reported that many doctors, nurses, paramedics and other staff in non- COVID hospitals are either getting infected or reported as contact to infected person and Medical Directors of respective hospitals are indiscriminately sending them in quarantine either at hotels or their homes for 14 days. This practice is causing unnecessary shortage of doctor & staff at the Hospitals. It seems, it is happening because either hospitals are not following standard SOPs or such persons are not following guidelines prescribed tor health care workers.

Thus, All Medical Directors are directed to obtain written explanation from an such person as how these persons got infected or become a contact in spite of wearing required protective gears, maintaining safe distance and following precautions prescribed for health care workers.

Further, Medical Director is required to constitute a team of Doctors to ascertain whether a contact, fulfils the Govt. of India guidelines to be declared as the contact of positive patient.

To access the official Orders, please click on the link below:

Order 1

Order 2


Government of NCT of Delhi

[Order dt. 01-05-2020]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Calcutta High Court: A Division Bench of Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan, CJ and Arijit Banerjee, J., while addressing a petition stated that responsible journalism includes the need to exclude irresponsible reporting by anyone involved in the print or audio visual media.

Advocate General pointed out that the present petition is essentially a Publicity Oriented Litigation because the petitioner has, by his conduct demonstrated vividly that he is using this litigation to publicize his political identity and also to encash it for enhancing his popularity in public domain.

Senior counsel for the petitioner, submitted that the fundamental right of freedom of expression cannot be curtailed in public domain.

It has been noted that, While the petitioner makes repeated complaints about the deficit in the number of sample testing, it is to be noted that there is lack of certainty as whether the rapid testing method as well as other modalities are appropriately utilized.

ICMR guidelines are, according to the petitioner, the touch stone on which the regulatory measures as well as other aspects ought to be in place. The testing of samples, test kits, mode of reference for ascertaining reason for death thereby keeping track of mortality rate attributable to Covid-19, are matters relating to scientific management of the pandemic. Union of India and the States are to respond.

Advocate General has been asked to ascertain the availability of Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) sufficient enough to be provided to all who could be called front line worriers which includes doctors, para medics, ground staff, support staff and those dealing with medical institutions and also other areas where PPE usage ought to be the norm.

State to file affidavit disclosing the availability and utilization of PPE and also testing facilities in terms of ICMR guidelines. On the same issue, the Union of India shall also place its response.

A true version of any order can be generated from the website of the Calcutta High Court.

For the above, Bench also stated that responsible journalism includes the need to exclude irresponsible reporting by anyone involved in the print or audio visual media.

Therefore, Court stated that,

those in need of information about the contents of this Court’s orders, to access the High Court website and dissuade themselves from propagating or publicizing the orders to champion the cause of anybody concerned.

[Fuad Halim v. State of W.B., 2020 SCC OnLine Cal 898, decided on 28-04-2020]

Gauhati High Court
Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Gauhati High Court: A Division Bench of Songkhupchung Serto and S. Hukato Swu, JJ. gave certain limited directions to the State Government and other authorities regarding handling the COVID-19 situation in the State.

The Court was considering a PIL through which certain concerns regarding actions already and which are yet to be taken by the State Government regarding COVID-19 were sought to be brought the Court’s notice for issuing necessary directions.

Having heard the petitioner and the respondents, the Court was of the view that at this stage, it would be sufficient if notice is issued to the respondents and limited directions as mentioned below are issued:

1. Make at least 2 (two) testing labs of COVID-19 functional within 10 (ten) days from today and make every effort to establish other labs at strategic places in the State to facilitate free testing in the near future.

2. Provide sufficient number of PPEs which are of the standard quality prescribed by the appropriate authority to all persons who are involved in the treatment of COVID-19 patients and in the looking after of persons in quarantine centres.

3. Make all efforts to make ICU facilities at all places identified for treatment of COVID-19 infected persons and also increase the number of ventilators so as to facilitate treatment in times of need.

4. Make ambulance available to the patients of COVID-19, at the earliest, if not already made available and to also make available transportation facilities to all persons who are in the line of duty, in view of the constraints and restraints imposed both by the Government and the public.

5. See to it that under no circumstance or circumstances there should be any shortage of trained personnel for treatment of the COVID-19 patients and those who are quarantined.

6. Gear up and make sure that the 2 (two) main hospitals which have been identified for treatment of COVID-19 patients i.e. one at Kohima and one at Dimapur are fully equipped and ready for functioning to meet the challenge or challenges posed by the COVID-19 within a period of 2 (two) weeks.   

It was also directed that the State and other respondents will file their affidavit showing their level of preparedness and also a statement showing the materials already supplied for the personnel who are on the line of duty. [Kikrukhonuo v. State of Nagaland, 2020 SCC OnLine Gau 1370 , dated 27-4-2020]

Case BriefsCOVID 19High Courts

Madras High Court: A Division Bench of N. Kirubakaran and R. Hemalatha, JJ. while hailing and appreciating the round the clock service of Corona warriors asked the authorities concerned to subject the doctors, health workers, sanitisation workers, policemen  to regular testing.

Petitions have been filed pertaining to seeking

  • direction to respondent to provide and ensure medical assistance irrespective of all COVID-19 affected patients at free of cost
  • Direction to respondent 2 to constitute a State Level Executive Committee to assist the State Government/State Disaster Management Authority to perform its functions in preventing & controlling the COVID-19 and constitute a District level Disaster Management Committee to prevent and control the COVID -19 and direct the respondent 2 to notify and approve the ‘COVID-19’ isolated wards in Government & Private Hospitals with free of costs for treatment and testing and handling all suspected persons who arrived from foreign country 01.03.2020 onwards, keep them into special quarantine camps.
  • provide personal protective equipments (PPE) especially for doctors, nurses and hospital staffs in COVID-19 wards
  • to quarantine a section among the workforce of essential services for future catastrophe of COVID-19.

Petitioners counsel submitted that, so far no Community kitchens have been opened. Also sufficient number of masks and PPEs are not available.

Additional Advocate General on behalf of the respondents submitted the number of PPEs and masks along with testing kits available, adding to the said he submitted that supply is regularly coming and numbers are increasing.

With regard to non-supply of food, it was submitted that, Rs 1000 is being given to the people holding ration card and free ration and groceries is also being provided. Thus, nobody is suffering for want of food.

Another point submitted by petitioner’s counsel was that, about 45,000 persons including 100 Doctors and 3500 Para Medical Staffs have registered for voluntary service, their services are not being utilized. In the said regard, AAG submitted that he would verify the same and inform the Court in next hearing.

Court concerned with health condition of Doctors, Health Workers, Sanitary Workers and policemen stated that they should be given break sufficiently.

They should also be subjected to regular testing by the Authorities.

Bench stated that,

Court hails and appreciates the round the clock service rendered by Doctors, Health Workers, Sanitary workers and Policemen in the fight against dangerous pandemic which is threatening the entire humanity.

Thus, Court hopes and expects the respective government would appreciate the warriors and their services with increase in their salaries. Matter to be listed in 2 weeks.[S. Jimraj Milton v. Union of India,  2020 SCC OnLine Mad 916, decided on 09-04-2020]

COVID 19Legislation UpdatesNotifications

In the context of COVID-19 situation, considering the immediate requirement of ventilators and other items, the Central Government has granted exemption from Basic Customs Duty and Health cess, on the import of the following goods, with immediate effect:

  1. Ventilators,
  2. Face masks, surgical Masks,
  3. Personal protection equipment (PPE)
  4. COVID-19 test kits
  5. inputs for manufacture of the above items

This basic customs duty exemption shall be available upto the 30th September, 2020.


Ministry of Finance

[Press Release dt. 09-04-2020]

[Source: PIB]