Indicating that it’s not the court’s intention to interfere in what is regarded as an exclusive executive domain, the Chief Justice, along with Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy on Thursday said, “Given the spike rate oan India, reports in the media indicating shortage of beds and other facilities prompted a measure of bookkeeping exercise to be undertaken without interfering with the policy decision as the executive has the better feel of the situation and inputs as to what has to be done.”
On recording Advocate General Vijay Narayan’s submission that Tamil Nadu may never see a shortage of oxygen supply even if an unforeseen peak happens, the Chief Justice said, “It has been the most earnest endeavour of the State to allay the court’s misgivings as to availability of beds, facilities, amenities, to deal with persons affected by the virus even if a further spurt may take place.”
Also, noting that there should be empowered groups of bureaucrats to take immediate decisions, the bench recorded the submission of the State regards Remdesivir supply that Tamil Nadu is one of the few States without shortage. A total of 31,0000 vials of Remdesivir which is more than enough to meet contingencies.
Holding if TN has sufficient resources, “We should also be helping other states that do not have an adequate supply (oxygen). We are one country. If we have the resources here, we must share it,” the Chief Justice said. However, expressing concern over the financial burden of low income or less privileged groups with vaccine being priced at Rs 400 (govt counters) and Rs 600 (private counters), the Chief Justice on pointing out that many in the 18-45 age group would be left in a lurch, appealed to the Centre to consider the less privileged people.
The Chief Justice on accounting for AG’s submission that the Supreme Court has also registered a suo motu case, noted that it’s good to have a national policy in place and that this court took up the issues to ascertain the measures and that no spread of panic prevails as the spread of rumours are faster than facts.
While seeking the State to be alert and chart out plans for the ensuing counting of votes during Ramzan, the bench posted the plea to April 26 to ascertain the availability and contingency plans on holding that if it (suo motu plea) survives at all on Monday since all matters pertaining to Covid may be consolidated and heard by the Supreme Court.