The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Himachal Pradesh High Court's order of constituting a District Monitoring Committee for each district to monitor the situation of CoVID.
The bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna while staying the order took note of the fact that the Committee constituted by the High Court was not an expert Committee consisting of domain experts.
While issuing notice in the special leave petition filed by the Himachal Pradesh Government assailing Himachal Pradesh High Court's order dated July 7, 2021 passed by the division bench of Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua, the Top Court said that the pendency of proceedings before the Supreme Court would not restrain the High Court from monitoring the steps taken by the Government with regards to CoVID.
Advocate Abhinav Mukherjee appearing for the State had submitted that the State was doing everything possible including managing CoVID cases at the basic community level.
It was also his contention that Himachal Pradesh was the first state to vaccinate 100% population above 18 years and also informed the Court about completely administering a second dose to all people above 18 years by November 2021.
Case Before Himachal Pradesh High Court
Observing that the issues pertaining to each district varied with one another and that there could not be the same set of guidelines for the entire State, the High Court had constituted a District Monitoring Committee for each District.
"We are aware of the work done by the State in this regard and we are also conscious of the fact that much more is required to be done. The issues pertaining to each District, varies with one another. There cannot be a same set of guidelines for the entire State. It is for this purpose we feel that a local Monitoring Committee would be more useful in such circumstances," the High Court had observed.
The Committee was to be headed by Deputy Commissioner of each District and also consisted of the Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority and the President of the Bar Association at the District Headquarter.
The Committee had to visit the towns, cities, villages in each one of the Districts in order to ascertain the situation with regard to COVID-19, check the adequacy of the assistance from the Government with regards to meeting challenges thereon, steps to be taken to curtail the spread of CoVID 19, ensure preparedness for the third wave.
It also had to visit the Primary Health Care Centers and area where the medical facilities were being provided and the areas of such nature.
The High Court had also granted liberty to seek assistance of any other persons in performance of their duties and had also directed it to submit a weekly report to the Registry of this Court on or before the Tuesday of every week by email.
Case Title: State of Himachal Pradesh v Tarun Pathak