With the state in power transition not being adequately represented at the suo motu proceedings taken by the Madras High Court on Wednesday, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy has sought the health secretary and managing director, Tamil Nadu Medical Services to appear before it on Thursday to assist the court on the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
With the status report of April 30 being relied upon and a week being sought by a government advocate present during the hearing, the Chief Justice on referring to the report as old hat and that it does not interest the court, said the change in government should not result in COVID protocols and other containment work being ignored.
Pointing out that the virus won’t wait, the Chief Justice sought the health secretary to address the court on four key aspects, oxygen, ventilators, beds and vaccination. Also, on recording that Tamil Nadu been allotted 1.35 lakh vials of Remdesivir between April 21 and May 9, the CJ sought the health secretary to report on the steps taken in checking the black marketing of Remdesiver while observing that there’s a report of a doctor having participated in it.
The Chief Justice while accounting for the Central Government submission that a total of 2.75 lakh doses of the vaccine comprising 2 lakh doses of Covishield and 75,000 Covaxin, called on the state to evolve an inoculation programme that involves some amount of equality.
“What happens in all these calamities, you and I always have the resources to get away with it. It is only at the bottom, where the impact is felt,” Chief Justice Banerjee said.
Further, reiterating its concern over the continuation of COVID protocol and ensuring containment zones are in place where required, the Chief Justice said, “We won’t tell you, do this, do that. You have that authority and support to do whatever is necessary.”
“But just to remind you that human life is more important. Other things can wait. But human life is of greatest importance,” the CJ added posting the suo motu plea to Thursday for further hearing.