Plea in HC for adequate availability of gloves, sanitisers

The Madras High Court has been moved seeking for a direction to ensure availability of surgical and protective masks, hand sanitisers and gloves by augmenting production besides ensuring that they are not sold in excess of the maximum retail price.
Plea in HC for adequate availability of gloves, sanitisers

Chennai

A division bench comprising Justices M M Sundresh and Krishnan Ramaswamy directed the Tamil Nadu government to file a counter in this regard and adjourned the plea for further hearing to Friday.

The petitioner, G Rajesh, an advocate submitted that he was unable to purchase hand sanitisers and masks after visiting several pharmacies and general shops in places like Adyar, Parrys and other areas. Moreover, on verification, he found that the general public is also facing a similar situation.

He also held that the Central government issued an advisory on March 13 that states should ensure sale of both the items at MRP. Based on this, the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution had instructed that the states should notify the Central order and also issue their own orders under the Essential Commodities Act and take necessary actions as per the situation prevailing in the respective states.

But the Tamil Nadu government is yet to notify the order in their official gazette nor did it issue their own orders under the Essential Commodities Act, resulting in shortage as well as non-availability of these items. This posed a great threat to public health and would also render other preventive measures futile, the petitioner said.

Also, noting that the failure of the government to implement the notification has resulted in public being made to suffer owing to the scarcity of essential commodities, the petitioner sought the court to issue appropriate directions to conduct inspection and to ensure availability of essential commodities and to take various other precautionary measures.

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