21 April 2021 9:14 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court on Monday pulled up a young lawyer for citing politician's tweets in her Public Interest Litigation, to highlight "mismanagement" of the Covid- 19 situation in Maharashtra. A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni observed the petitioner is an advocate and therefore shouldn't have cited political commentary, instead, confined the...
The Bombay High Court on Monday pulled up a young lawyer for citing politician's tweets in her Public Interest Litigation, to highlight "mismanagement" of the Covid- 19 situation in Maharashtra.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni observed the petitioner is an advocate and therefore shouldn't have cited political commentary, instead, confined the petition to orders passed by other Courts.
When you file a PIL, why would you include political comments? Are you interested in the benefit for the underprivileged or you want to highlight political issues?
The Bench added that it was not influenced by political comments.
What politicians do, we know very well. We are not influenced by political comments. You should have confined your petition to the orders of the co-ordinate bench of this court, and orders of other courts.
The petitioner's advocate then apologised for citing the tweets.
However, noting that issues of "seminal importance" were raised by the petitioner - Advocate Sneha Nirav Marjadi- the bench directed all the respondents to be ready with their replies by Thursday.
The Court further asked if the Advocate General could appear in the matter.
Earlier during the hearing, Advocate Arshil Shah submitted that the situation in Maharashtra has become really bad due to the non-availability of beds, shortage of oxygen, and the shortage of the experimental anti-viral drug, Remdesivir. He further said that there was a delay in getting Covid RT- PCR test reports and denial of Rapid Antigen tests, at BMC hospitals, without a family doctor's prescription.
"People have outnumbered beds, there is poor management, even after death, people have to run from pillar to post for help. He said it took the petitioner 48 hours to get her test results," he submitted.
He argued that the "influential sector is getting beds as required but ordinary citizens are suffering," adding, "While the Govt. says there is no oxygen, NGOs and Temples are distributing it. How are they getting access to it?"
The Chief Justice then asked if Remdesivir is a medicine for the SARS-CoV-2.
"No Milords, it slows down the infection and that is the main purpose," Shah said.
"Correct," the Chief Justice said, "it was used to treat Ebola."
Shah also mentioned that the petitioner has suffered from the virus, and also has first experience trying to procure oxygen for her ailing aunt.
Shah pointed out that after the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay HC took Suo Motu cognisance of the situation in Nagpur district, people received 10,000 vials of Remdesivir injection in a day.
He then began citing tweets of opposition leaders like BJP's Kirit Somaiya and Atul Bhatkhalkar from his petition, to claim that the situation is getting bad to worse, which is when the Court pulled him up for relying on their claims.
Interim reliefs in the Petition
1. A status report on the availability of beds, laboratory test facility, procurement of Remdesivir injections, and oxygen.
2. The Court may monitor the situation of procurement of effective drugs like Remdesivir and Tocilizumab under the supervision of experts.
[Sneha Nirav Marjadi vs State of Maharashtra]