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'"State Heading Towards Health Emergency": Gujarat HC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance Of COVID Surge

Sparsh Upadhyay
11 April 2021 4:12 PM GMT
State Heading Towards Health Emergency: Gujarat HC Takes Suo Motu Cognizance Of COVID Surge
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The Gujarat High Court today took suo motu cognizance of the recent surge in the COVID Cases in the state and the matter shall be heard at C.J. Residence, tomorrow i.e., on 12.04.2021 at 11.00 a.m. The Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav D. Karia had a dialogue with the Senior most State Law Officers, Advocate General and the Government Pleader expressing...

The Gujarat High Court today took suo motu cognizance of the recent surge in the COVID Cases in the state and the matter shall be heard at C.J. Residence, tomorrow i.e., on 12.04.2021 at 11.00 a.m.

The Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav D. Karia had a dialogue with the Senior most State Law Officers, Advocate General and the Government Pleader expressing concern regarding the upsurge of COVID-19 cases in the State which was widely reported in the media as well.

However, the Order issued by the division bench today, states,

"The newspapers, news channels are flooded with the harrowing tales, unfortunate and unimaginable difficulties, unmanageable conditions of the infrastructure, the shortfall and the deficit of not only testing, availability of beds, ICU, but also the supply of Oxygen and the basic medicines like Ramdesivir, etc."

The Chief Justice led bench further stated that had it been stray news here and there, it could have ignored it, but the volume of the report in the leading newspapers having nationwide circulation cannot be ignored.

Referring to the Indian Express and Times of India reports, the Court noted,

"A bare perusal of the same would indicate that the State is heading towards a health emergency of sorts."

Further, underlining that it was the time that the Court must intervene, the Bench directed the Registry to register the matter as a suo moto fresh Public Interest Litigation titled "In Re: Uncontrolled Upsurge and Serious Management Issues in COVID Control".

The court has also directed that the following parties be impleaded in the matter:-

  • The State of Gujarat through its Chief Secretary, Gandhinagar,
  • Principal Secretary, Department of Medical, Health and Family Welfare, Government of Gujarat, Gandhinagar,
  • Union of India through the Secretary, Department of Home, Government of India, New Delhi, and
  • Secretary, Department of Health, Government of India, New Delhi.

Now, a Bench comprising of Chief Justice and Justice Bhargav D. Karia would be constituted at C.J. Residence, tomorrow i.e. on 12.04.2021 at 11.00 a.m.

The link would be generated and forwarded to the Advocate General, Government Pleader and Shri Devang Vyas, Additional Solicitor General of India and the proceedings of the Chief Justice Court would be live-streamed.

Importantly, the Court has also requested the Advocate General and the Government Pleader inform the top bureaucrats of the State to watch the proceedings subject to their convenience, especially those impleaded in this petition.

Case title - Suo Motu Versus State Of Gujarat [WRIT PETITION (PIL) NO. 53 of 2021]

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