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‘Not within our powers’: HC dismisses plea seeking imposition of Emergency
The Madras High Court on Wednesday disposed of a plea seeking a declaration of Emergency in the wake of the pandemic and also to constitute a special committee comprising virologists to fight the war against the pandemic.
Observing that it was not within the powers of the court to issue such directions, the first bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy on Wednesday, said: “There is a state of lockdown declared until May 24. In addition, there are containment zones. Elsewhere in the country where life is also not normal, without formally declaring an Emergency on medical grounds, there exists an emergency like-situation with all concerned here fighting the pandemic.”
As regards the plea seeking a special committee, the bench said a task force has been set up by the Supreme Court to look into diverse aspects arising out of the pandemic including allocation of oxygen on an equitable and rational basis all over the country.
“It is also apparent that the State Government has taken measures, inter alia, to increase beds, augment vaccination by placing global tenders for the supply of vaccine,” the Chief Justice said while observing that in such circumstances it would not be appropriate or wise to interfere with the State’s current functioning.
“The Supreme Court at the national level and the high court at the State levels are monitoring the steps taken by the Centre and the State. Both such representatives are before this court to indicate on steps to be taken, the Chief Justice added while disposing of both the pleas.