The Jharkhand High Court on Friday sought the State's response on the stray incidents of COVID-19 suspects/ patients escaping the containment centers in the state.
A bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad has issued notice on the petition filed by Advocate Hemant Kumar Shikarwar and has asked the state government to file its reply by April 29.
Last month, on March 27, 15 patients suspected of corona virus fled from the Quarantine Facility Center in Katkamasandi district of Jharkhand. An FIR has already been lodged against them under the provisions of the Infectious Diseases Act, 1997 and Jharkhand State Infectious Diseases Regulations Act, 2020.
Through this PIL, the Petitioner has also sought a direction to the Government to ensure availability of hand sanitizer, mask, etc. at the rate fixed by the competent authority.
The court has agreed to hear the petition in part inasmuch as one of the issues raised by the Petitioner with respect to "free pre-testing" of Corona Virus suspects has already been settled by the Supreme Court.
On April 8, a SC bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and S Ravindra Bhat had ordered that COVID-19 tests should be done free of cost in both government laboratories and in approved private laboratories.
Subsequently, on April 13, the bench modified this order while clarifying that free testing will be available to persons eligible under Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana and that private Labs may continue to charge for testing from persons who are able to make payment as per the fee fixed by ICMR.
Case Title: Hemant Kumar Shikarwar v. Union of India & Ors.
Case No.: WP (PIL) No. 1307/2020
Quorum: Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad
Appearance: Petitioner in person; ASGI Rajiv Sinha and Advocate General Rajiv Ranjan
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