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'High Court Should Avoid Passing Orders Which Are Difficult To Implement' : Supreme Court Stays Allahabad HC Directions For Improving Health Care System Of Uttar Pradesh

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
21 May 2021 12:33 PM GMT
High Court Should Avoid Passing Orders Which Are Difficult To Implement : Supreme Court Stays Allahabad HC Directions For Improving Health Care System Of Uttar Pradesh
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The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the directions issued by the Allahabad High Court on May 17 for upgrading the medical facilities in the state of Uttar Pradesh on a war-scale footing.A vacation bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai stayed the order after hearing the submissions made by Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta on behalf of the State of Uttar Pradesh.The...

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The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the directions issued by the Allahabad High Court on May 17 for upgrading the medical facilities in the state of Uttar Pradesh on a war-scale footing.

A vacation bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and BR Gavai stayed the order after hearing the submissions made by Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta on behalf of the State of Uttar Pradesh.

The Allahabad High Court, while considering a suo moto case taken to deal with COVID issues, had passed a slew of directions on May 17 in relation to providing ambulances with ICU facilities in all villages, making oxygen beds available in all nursing homes, upgradation of medical college hospitals in the state etc., on an urgent basis in a time-bound manner considering the COVID second wave.

The Solicitor General told the Supreme Court that the High Court's directions, though well-meaning, are difficult to implement.

The SG pointed out that the High Court had directed that every village in the state must be provided with 2 ambulances with ICU facilities within one month. This direction, the SG said, is difficult to implement within one month, as there are nearly 97,000 villages in the State of UP.

Further, the High Court had directed that all nursing homes should have oxygen bed facilities and that that nursing homes having beds above the specified number should have oxygen production plants and certain percentage ventilators. Further, the High Court had directed that the medical college hospitals in the states should be upgraded to the level of Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute within a period of four months.

Also, the High Court made observations such as the health care system in towns and villages of Uttar Pradesh was like "ram bharose". Such observations, which according to the Solicitor General, will have a demoralizing effect on the health care professionals in the state.

The SG also informed the top court that the High Court had made several observations relating to vacccine production and had suggested that the Government should take the vaccine manufacturing formula from companies to enable more companies to produce the same.

The SG submitted that the High Courts ought to refrain from passing directions in policy matters, especially when they can have trans-state and even trans-national ramifications.

A Division Bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar of the High Court had passed the directions in the suo moto case "In-Re Inhuman Condition At Quarantine Centres And For Providing Better Treatment To Corona Positive"

Medical Infrastructure In UP 'Delicate, Fragile & Debilitated': Allahabad High Court Suggests Measures For Improvement

High Courts should avoid passing orders which are incapable of being executed

Taking note of the Solicitor General's submissions, the Supreme Court observed :

"At the outset, we may appreciate the efforts of the High Court of Allahabad as well as various other High Courts for taking up the matter for management of COVID.  However, while dealing with such matters and the concerns the Courts may have for patients and general public and the anxiety of Courts to give utmost relief to those suffering, sometimes, unwittingly the Courts overstep and pass certain orders that are not capable of being implemented".

The top court said that while passing directions, the Court should consider if they are capable of being executed.

"Acknowledging the effort of the HC for looking into the matter in depth while passing the order, we state that the Court should avoid passing orders if they are impossible to be implemented. The doctrine of impossibility is equally applicable to the Courts", the bench said.

"In matters concerning national and trans national ramifications, High Courts should refrain from passing orders", the SC cautioned.

While staying the High Court's directions, the Supreme Court said that the state of UP should treat them as advisory guidelines and should take all possible endeavours to implement them.

"The observations and directions may have been well-meaning and may have been passed in its anxiety and concern for general public. But the directions need be treated by the state government as observations and advise of the court and not directions or orders passed by the court. We hope and trust state will take every endeavor to follow the same", the bench noted in the order.

The Solicitor General also made a request for a direction that the COVID-related matters be dealt with only by the benches led by Chief Justice of respective High Courts to ensure uniformity.

However, the top court refrained from considering this plea, by saying that the constitution of the bench was the prerogative of the High Court Chief Justice.

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 said.

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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