Case BriefsHigh Courts

Madhya Pradesh High Court: The Division Bench of Mohammad Rafiq, CJ. and Atul Sreedharan, J., heard this interlocutory application filed by Mr Lakhan Sharma pursuant to an order dated 17-05-2021 passed by this Court in W.P. No.9405 of 2021 (Lakhan Sharma v. State of M.P.) thereby granting him liberty to intervene in Suo Motu Writ Petition No.8914 of 2020.

The petitioner in the aforesaid petition had made prayers which included directions to provide the recovered/seized Remdesivir injections for being distributed to general patients after obtaining approval from medical experts that they were fit to be used.

The Court allowed the current application considering that if not used timely, the Remdesivir injections would likely to go waste and directed the State authorities to get the seized Remdesivir injections tested through the State Forensic Science Laboratory or any other appropriate agency, to find out whether or not, the drugs, which have been seized, are genuine Remdesivir injections and to the extent the seized vials of the Remdesivir are found to be genuine, the Chief Medical & Health Officer of the concerned district would make an application before the appropriate Court for taking delivery of such seized drugs, which shall pass the required orders in that behalf, within a period of three days from the date of filing of the application, so that the medicine can be provided to needy patients before its expiry.

The Court further heard another interlocutory application which was filed by Mr Naman Nagrath, Amicus Curiae stating a list of ventilators were either lying uninstalled or unused in different parts of the State and most of them could not be used on account of non-availability of expert technicians.

Mr P.K. Kaurav, Advocate General submitted that out of 76 ventilators situated at Bundelkhand Medical College, Sagar, 70 ventilators have already been made operational and report from the Superintendent of the Government Hospital, Shahdol has already been called regarding 24 ventilators lying there. He submitted that efforts were being made to make all these ventilators functional in the entire State.

The Court directed that respondent-State shall place on record a report showing as to how many ventilators were obtained under the PM Cares Fund and how many are procured by the State Government on its own and how many of them are functional.

The Court in the next hearing i.e. 24-05-2021 asked the Advocate General to give specific response as to what the State Government proposes to do with regard to rationalization of the charges by the private hospitals and for fixation of the capping thereof.

[In Reference (Suo Motu) v. Union of India, 2021 SCC OnLine MP 935, decided on 19-05-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Presence : Mr Naman Nagrath, Senior Advocate with Mr Jubin Prasad, Advocate appeared as Amicus Curiae.

 Mr Purushaindra Kaurav, Advocate General, Mr Pushpendra Yadav, Additional Advocate General and Mr Swapnil Ganguly, Deputy Advocate General for the respondents/State along with Mr Mohammad Suleman, Additional Chief Secretary, Directorate of Health Services, Govt. of M.P. and Ms Chhavi Bhardwaj, Managing Director, National Health Mission, M.P.

Mr Jitendra Kumar Jain, Assistant Solicitor General and Mr Vikram Singh, Advocate for the Union of India.

 Mr Shivendra Pandey, Advocate for the respondent No.5 – Indian Medical Association.

Mr Shreyas Pandit, Advocate for the respondent No.8 – Madhya Pradesh Nursing Home Association.

 Mr A.M. Mathur, Senior Advocate assisted by Mr Abhinav P. Dhanodkar, Advocate for the intervenor/Shanti Manch Samiti.

 Mr Manoj Kumar Sharma, Advocate–President, High Court Advocates’ Bar Association, Jabalpur; Mr Shashank Shekhar Dugwekar, Mr Ajay Gupta; Mr. Sanjay Kumar Verma; Mr Sanjay K. Agrawal; Mr Ajay Raizada, Mr Rajesh Chand; Mr Anoop Nair; Mr Nikhil Tiwari; Mr Sampooran Tiwari; Mr Asheesh Poddar; Mr Gaurav Panchal; Mr Ashutosh Sharma; Mr Dinesh Kumar Upadhyay; Mr Zaki Ahmad; Mr Sunil Gupta; Mr Rahul Gupta; Mr Rohit Jain; Mr Aditya Dev; Mr Yash Sharma; and Mr Ashish Mishra; Advocates appeared for the respective intervenors.

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Tripura High Court: The Division Bench of Akil Kureshi, CJ., and S. Talapatra, J., activated a public interest petition which was initiated suo moto by the High Court last year when the so-called first wave of corona virus was swiping the whole country and also affecting the State of Tripura. For a while it appeared that the corona virus had subsided. However, by way of abundant caution, this public interest petition was kept alive, not realizing that unfortunately, the situation may arise where further hearing of this PIL would be necessary.

While fortunately the second wave of Covid 19 was somewhat delayed in Tripura compared to the other states of the country, the administration had a longer notice and therefore more time to prepare to meet with the challenges. The Court requested the administration to provide further data and make a few constructive suggestions such as the number of testing each day. The Court emphasized on the importance of wearing masks at all public places, to ramp up testing followed by isolation of those who might have recently been in contact with the corona positive patients and lastly, to vaccinate as quickly and as widespread a population as possible in order to control the overall spread of corona virus.

The Court as a precautionary measure requested the State administration to provide an affidavit on the next day of hearing i.e 17-05-2021 with the following mentioned data:

  • Whether there is any scientific model available with the State Government on the basis of which with reasonable accuracy the peak number of corona positive cases per day can be predicted.
  • If so, on the basis of this model it is possible to project the peak requirement of hospital beds with a break up of those required with oxygen and without oxygen.
  • The availability of total number of such beds with and without oxygen supply.
  • What could be the maximum oxygen demand in terms of units/quantity at the peak of the spread of virus and what is the availability of the oxygen with the State administration. The source of continuous supply of such oxygen will also be disclosed.
  • The availability of remdesivir dozes and other life saving drugs including steroids which may be required in emergency for extreme cases of corona infection. The availability of equipments for treating serious cases of corona virus shall also be stated.
  • Whether the hospitals in the State have any special arrangements for pediatric corona patients and whether any such specialized dedicated ward or arrangement is necessary or would be required in coming days.
  • In the affidavit, the deponent has provided the data about the persons already vaccinated for the first time and also second time. The affidavit also states that the State Government has decided to vaccinate the entire population above the age of 18 free of cost.

The Court stated that affidavit shall state the percentage of those who qualify for vaccination have already been vaccinated first time and second time as also when shall the persons above the age of 18 but below the age of 45 shall have excess to vaccination and rough timelines within which the State administration expects to cover substantial portion of the population which is eligible for such vaccination. The affidavit shall also state exact dozes of vaccination currently available with the State administration and further expected availability from time to time.

For Court on own motion: Mr Somik Deb, Amicus Curiae. For Respondent(s) : Mr S.S. Dey, Advocate General. Mr Debalay Bhattacharjee, GA. Ms Ayantika Chakraborty, Advocate.

[Court on its own motion v. State, 2021 SCC OnLine Tri 265, decided on 10-05-2021]

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has put this report together