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After Nagpur & Bombay, Aurangabad Bench Of Bombay High Court Takes Cognizance Of Covid Crisis in Maharashtra

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
26 April 2021 4:24 AM GMT
After Nagpur & Bombay, Aurangabad Bench Of Bombay High Court Takes Cognizance Of Covid Crisis in Maharashtra
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Based on newspaper reports, the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court has registered a suo motu criminal Public Interest Litigation to address issues related to the Covid crisis in Maharashtra's Marathwada belt. The issues include cumbersome documentation process for conducting a Covid-19 deceased's last rites, rampant black marketing of anti-viral drug, Remdesivir, and...

Based on newspaper reports, the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court has registered a suo motu criminal Public Interest Litigation to address issues related to the Covid crisis in Maharashtra's Marathwada belt.

The issues include cumbersome documentation process for conducting a Covid-19 deceased's last rites, rampant black marketing of anti-viral drug, Remdesivir, and problems pertaining to oxygen supply in the region.

With the registration of this PIL, all three benches of the Bombay High Court in Maharashtra – the Chief Justice's court at its principal seat in Mumbai, the Nagpur bench and the Aurangabad bench are now hearing PILs on Covid management.

A division bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and BU Debadwar took cognisance of Covid management in Marathwada on April 22,soon after the Supreme Court decided to take suo motu cognisance of issues related to the availability of Remdesivir and oxygen in the country.

Advocate S.S. Bora, appointed as amicus curiae, has been asked to apprise the court on April 26, which is when the PIL is slated for hearing, on whether all matters related to Covid management are transferred to the apex court or not.

Since we are apprised of the fact that the Honourable Supreme Court has placed matters pertaining to supply of oxygen and Remdesivir injections for hearing on Friday, 23.04.2021, we expect the learned Amicus Curiae to keep track of the said proceedings and in the event all matters are transferred for common hearing before the Honourable Supreme Court, he may point this out to us on 26.04.2021.

The bench has cited 12 reports of Marathi dailies – Divya Marathi, Sakal and Lokmat, and one report of English daily, The Indian Express in the suo motu PIL.

The issues/titles of news reports include –

  1. Survivors of Covid-19 deceased patients have to run from pillar to post to collect various certificates for performing the last rites.
  2. A grim situation has occurred due to disruption in oxygen supply and the relatives of the corona positive patients are advised by private hospitals to search for hospitals having proper oxygen supply and shift the patients to such hospitals.
  3. Black marketing of Remdesivir injections. They are being sold at exorbitant rates, quoting upto Rs.22,000 per vial.
  4. Some pharma stockists in Nagpur have unauthorisedly sold Remdesivir injections from Dhaka in Bangladesh.
  5. Former MLA of a national political party has sold Remdesivir injections to a long queue of purchasers without licence/unauthorisedly.
  6. The State of Maharashtra requires 500 tons of oxygen, though 1250 tons of oxygen produced in the State is being used in hospitals. Several relatives of Covid-19 patients are moving on the streets, searching for oxygen.

The Nagpur bench of Justices S Shukre and SM Modak was the first to take suo motu cognisance of the Covid crisis in Maharashtra and recently expanded the scope of their PIL from just Nagpur District to the entire Vidarbha region.

The Bench has passed several pertinent orders on the issue, including a direction of equitable distribution of Remdesivir drug, in Maharashtra, and asking the State to consider requisitioning steel plants to supply oxygen.

Meanwhile, the division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni directed the State to devise a mechanism for distribution of oxygen to private and government hospitals, based on an advocate's PIL.

Click here to read/download the order




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