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'We Cannot Demoralize High Courts':SC Rejects SG Tushar Mehta's Request To Direct All HCs To List Covid Cases Before Chief Justice-led Benches

Radhika Roy
21 May 2021 2:02 PM GMT
We Cannot Demoralize High Courts:SC Rejects SG Tushar Mehtas Request To Direct All HCs To List Covid Cases Before Chief Justice-led Benches
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Supreme Court on Friday declined the request of Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta seeking directions to all High Courts to only let Benches headed Chief Justices of the High Courts hear matters related to COVID-19.The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal filed by the State of Uttar Pradesh against an order passed by the Allahabad High Court wherein the Court had noted that entire medical...

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Supreme Court on Friday declined the request of Solicitor-General Tushar Mehta seeking directions to all High Courts to only let Benches headed Chief Justices of the High Courts hear matters related to COVID-19.

The Supreme Court was hearing an appeal filed by the State of Uttar Pradesh against an order passed by the Allahabad High Court wherein the Court had noted that entire medical system in smaller cities and villages in the State was in the hands of God (Ram Bharose).

Submitting before a Bench of Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai that directions pertaining to vaccinations, essential drugs etc., had trans-state ramifications and required diplomatic routes to be taken, the SG requested for the matters to be placed before the Chief Justices of the High Courts.

"I have one request. These matters should be placed before the Chief Justice. There are certain issues which are trans-state issues. I welcome judicial review, but Court should be circumspect of the borders of the State High Court. Several High Courts are directing. Let it be taken by the Chief Justice of the High Court", contended the SG.

He further added that he was not seeking the High Courts to not take up these issues, and that he was merely requesting for the Court to be "a little slow and circumspect".

The Supreme Court, however, declined to pass any "sweeping orders" in this aspect, stating that it did not wish to demoralize the High Courts or the State Government.

"The constitution of Benches is the prerogative of the Chief Justice of the concerned High Court. We will not pass an order for every High Court. This is only for your High Court. You are not appearing for Union of India", remarked the Apex Court.

. However, the bench observed that it is desirable that matters of public importance are dealt with by benches led by Chief Justices of High Courts.

"Be that as it may, it is a normal practice, which is also desirable, that such matters of public importance are dealt with by the Bench presided over by the Chief Justice, but since the constitution of Benches is the prerogative of the Chief Justice, inour view, it would be for the Chief Justice of the High Court to consider such aspect and pass appropriate orders".


It did, however, stay the May 17 directions of the Allahabad High Court for upgradation of medical facilities in the State of Uttar Pradesh on a war-scale footing.

While staying the High Court's order of May 17, the Supreme Court clarified that it is not staying the suo moto proceedings taken by the High Court to deal with COVID-19 issues.

The Supreme Court has posted the matter next on July 14. Senior Advocate Nidesh Gupta has been appointed as amicus curiae in the matter.

Case Details

Title : State of Uttar Pradesh versus In Re Inhuman Condition at Quarantine Centres and for Providing Better Treatment to Corona Positive

Bench : Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai

Appearances : Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta, for State of UP

Citation : LL 2021 SC 258

Click here to read/download the order





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