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[COVID19] SC To Hear Tomorrow PIL Seeking Directions To Curb Black Marketing Of Masks & Sanitisers Amid Pandemic

Sanya Talwar
31 March 2020 2:52 PM GMT
[COVID19] SC To Hear Tomorrow PIL Seeking Directions To Curb Black Marketing Of Masks & Sanitisers Amid Pandemic
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Expounding upon the alleged black market of medical essentials such as masks, hand sanitiser's and personal protection equipment's, a PIL has been filed today for immediate intervention of the Court amid the COVID19 crisis.

A Supreme Court Bench of Justices L. Nageswara Rao and Abdul Nazeer will hear the matter Tomorrow.

"That in light of this unregulated and headless space, it has become open to these chemist and individuals to carry out trade in Masks, Hand Sanitizers and Liquid soap to the determent of the society and thereby have further endangered the citizens of the country" – the petitioner avers.

Issuance of appropriate directions in order to ensure fair and equitable distribution of essential medical items, which are available to the public at large, is one of the primary prayers of the petitioner.

In this regard the petitioner seeks formulation of a "Special Task Force" to effectively implement the notification of the Department of Consumer Affairs of March 21, 2020.

The aforesaid Notification by Department of Consumer Affairs, fixed the prices of the mask i.e. 2 ply masks to be priced at Rs.8 and 3 ply masks to price at Rs.10 and that the sanitizer bottle at Rs. 100. However, the petitioner contends that various medical professionals and chemists were found flouting the directions.

"….selling the Essential commodities in brazen defiance of the Notification".

Accordingly, nefarious activities at the hands of a few which bring about the astounding practice of chemists and medical professional have been pointed out by the petitioner by narrating a first hand experience in real time on March 20, 2020.

Ply masks had been selling for INR 20 to INR 30 instead of the usual INR 5 or INR 10 and sanitisers were being sold by application of personal stickers for INR 250 – 300, depicts the petitioner(s).

In view of this, it is averred that,

"…..if the chemists and other medical outlets persists with the current mode of functioning will affect the most vulnerable section of our population the daily wage workers and other economically challenged citizens, who due to quarantine and other restrictive steps shall not be able to earn their livelihood and secondly would not be able to purchase the masks at such prices, if the prices are not effectively implemented by the concerned authorities and Respondents herein.."

Furthermore, the petitioner vide its representations seeks to urge the effective implementation of notification(s) by the Centre and concerned authorities so as to curb India from "entering into its next stage of the said disease with an overwhelming number of cases" and effectuate the welfare of public at large.

The petition has been filed by tJustice for Rights Foundation, Satyam Singh Rajput (Advocate and Founder), Advocate Amit Sharma & Prateek Sharma, a law student from Delhi University.

Picture Courtesy: Gulf News

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