The Supreme Court Bar Association on Thursday approached the top court opposing the transfer of High Court cases related to Covid-19 issues to the top court, reported Bar and Bench. The association of lawyers said that the high courts should be allowed to deal with cases at the local level.
The intervening application has been filed in the Supreme Court’s suo motu case. Earlier on Thursday, a bench led by Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justice Ravindra Bhat said that at least six High Courts are hearing cases related to the management of the pandemic. The court directed that the cases pending before the High Courts be withdrawn as it will create confusion.
“High Courts appear to be best suited to deal with the situation, hence it would be proper to allow the Hon’ble High Courts to continue dealing with the present issue,” the bar association’s plea said.
The Supreme Court Bar Association pointed out that the high courts were better placed to get immediate reports on the Covid-19 situation and pass swift directions in the cases. “High Courts, situated almost invariably in the capital of the States, are in a better position to seek immediate reports from the local administration and pass directions and orders for immediate removal of difficulties arising in treatment of the infected patients depending upon the local emergent situation,” the plea added.
The bar association admitted that some matters like inter-state free and fast movement of essential items, migrant workers may require “centralised consideration” and could therefore be taken up by the Supreme Court.
Bombay HC says it will continue to hear Covid-related pleas
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court said that it will continue to hear matters related to the Covid-19 situation in the state till the cases are transferred to the Supreme Court, reported Live Law.
The High Court made the remark after Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh attempted to interject in the case by highlighting news reports of the Supreme Court’s action.
Bombay High Court Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta, leading the division bench, said that the Supreme Court was yet to transfer the proceedings and the court will therefore continue to hear the matter. It was hearing a public interest litigation, filed by advocate Sneha Marjadi and petitoner Nilesh Navalakha. The plea flagged delays in RT-PCR results, doctors’ prescription sought for testing and problems with availability of beds and oxygen in the state.
Earlier on Thursday, the Supreme Court said it was taking cognisance of matters related to supply of oxygen, essential drugs, method and manner of vaccination and the power of state government’s to impose lockdown.