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'Our High Courts Were Bastions Of Ensuring Justice During COVID' : Supreme Court Upholds Manipur HC's Directions On Pandemic Management

Shruti Kakkar
6 Sep 2021 1:16 PM GMT
Our High Courts Were Bastions Of Ensuring Justice During COVID : Supreme Court Upholds Manipur HCs Directions On Pandemic Management
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The Supreme Court today dismissed a special leave petition filed by the Manipur State Government challenging the High Court's order in which the Court had directed the state to frame exhaustive rules to regulate State's functioning towards combating CoVID in the state. The matter was listed before the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli. While dismissing...

The Supreme Court today dismissed a special leave petition filed by the Manipur State Government challenging the High Court's order in which the Court had directed the state to frame exhaustive rules to regulate State's functioning towards combating CoVID in the state.

The matter was listed before the bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Hima Kohli.

While dismissing the petition, Justice Chandrachud, presiding judge of the bench orally remarked that the High Court was absolutely justified in passing the directions.

"Our High Court's were bastions of ensuring that justice was done during the CoVID 19 pandemic," Justice Chandrachud added.

Sternly remarking on the condition of quarantine centres maintained by the State, Justice Chandrachud said,

"Your standard quarantine centres were pathetic. There were no separate washrooms for male & female. Healthcare workers did not change the beddings regularly. The High Court has passed a calibrated order. We are not going to give you a character certificate."

Background

The State Government had approached the Supreme Court assailing the Manipur High Court's order passed by the division bench of Justices Lanusungkum Jamir And Kh. Nobin Singh on July 16, 2020.

The High Court had directed the State Government to constitute a "Committee of Experts" that may advise the government as to the course of action that may be adopted to prevent the spread of Covid-19, after holding regular deliberations with all the stakeholders.

The bench had iterated that in order to tackle the Covid crisis, the Government needs to make two plans— one, short term plan and two, long term plan.

The Court observed that even though the State Government had been trying its "best level" to contain the pandemic, there was no information regarding the same in the public domain.

It had also ordered that the government shall frame exhaustive rules and regulations to regulate its functioning towards combating the crisis or modify suitably the existing SOP, depending upon the change of circumstances touching on all aspects of the matter and keeping in mind the shortcomings, difficulties, drawbacks, complaints from the public etc., to meet any kind of eventuality.

Further, the bench clarified that if the State Government is in short of money, it could make a request to the Government of India for its help and if such request was made by all the State Governments, the Government of India could generate its income either by enhancing the rate of existing taxes or by introducing a new tax towards combating COVID-19 crisis.

Case Title: The State of Manipur v. J Hillson Angam and Anr

Click Here To Read/ Download Order


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