Supreme Court bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat to hear today at 12 noon the suo moto case taken in relation to #COVID19
issues (In Re Distribution of Essential Supplies and Services during Pandemic).
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On the last hearing date, April 27, the bench had sought the response of the Central Government on issues such as - oxygen supply, availability of drugs like #Remdesivir
, vaccination pricing policy etc. #COVID19 #SupremeCourt
"The government shall explain the rationale for differential pricing in regard to vaccines sourced by the Union government on one hand and the states on the other hand", the Court had directed the Centre. @MoHFW_INDIA @SerumInstIndia @BharatBiotech https://www.livelaw.in/amp/top-stories/supreme-court-asks-centre-to-explain-rationale-of-covid-vaccine-pricing-173205
The bench had also clarified that the suo moto case was not intended to stop the High Courts from dealing with #COVID19
related issues in their jurisdictions. The SC said that it was focusing on larger, inter-state issues. https://www.livelaw.in/top-stories/supreme-court-suo-moto-case-covid19-high-courts-national-crisis-173192
Supreme Court bench of Justice Chandrachud, Nageswara Rao and Ravindra Bhat starts hearing the SUO MOTO case on #COVID
(IN RE DISTRIBUTION OF ESSENTIAL SERVICES AND SUPPLIES DURING PANDEMIC). #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines #Remdesivir
Justice Chandrachud : We are looking at playing a dialogical role through judicial review so that the thought process is initiated by policy makers. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines #Remdesivir
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says Centre has field reply.
"We finalised the reply in late night hours and officers who are involved are fire fighting", SG says. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines #Remdesivir
Solicitor General says Centre has prepared a power-point presentation to explain its steps. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines #Remdesivir
Justice Chandrachud asks if a mechanism can be developed to show real time updates regarding the allocation of #Oxygen
. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines #Remdesivir
SG gets disconnected.
Bench waits for the SG to re-join. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines #Remdesivir
Justice Chandrachud requests people who don't really need to be in the hearing to voluntarily log out so that necessary parties can be logged in. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines #Remdesivir
SG get reconnected.
Justice Chandrachud asks if there can be a software to give real time updates about oxygen allocation. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen
Justice Chandrachud asks how Centre will ensure registration for vaccines for illiterate people considering the fact that COWIN app registration is mandatory. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines
The bench asks if the Centre has considered using the powers under Section 92 of Patents Act for compulsory licensing of the COVID vaccines. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen #Vaccines #Remdesivir
The bench asks the Central Government why it is not buying 100 percentage of COVID vaccine doses as it is in a better place best place to determine equity and disburse.
Why cannot the Centre follow the national immunization program policy with respect to COVID vaccines, SC asks.
The Supreme Court observes the vaccine manufacturing is publicly funded and hence vaccines become public goods. So, why not centre buy full doses of vaccines, SC asks. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Will one state get priority access over another in getting the vaccines? Supreme Court asks Centre. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Supreme Court asks how will Centre ensure equity by private vaccine manufacturers when it is buying only 50% of the doses. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Supreme Court observes that Bangladesh has developed a generic drug for Remdesivir and is exporting the same to other countries and that Jharkhand has proposed to import from Bangladesh. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Has the centre considered to invoking section 92 of patents act and issue compulsory licenses so that drugs can be manufactured while royalty is sorted? Supreme Court asks Centre. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
BREAKING : Supreme Court asks why should the court not issue directions under Section 100 and Section 92 of Patents Act to enable generics to manufacture #COVID
drugs without the fear of legal action? #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
"Is the logistical concern more important than right to health", SC asks. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Supreme Court ask what the Centre is doing for the States that are lacking in facilities. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Has the testing labs been directed to track the mutant variant of coronavirus? Supreme Court asks Centre. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Supreme Court observes that new variant is not getting detected in RT-PCR tests. Medical centres are driving away patients without positive report or charge high sums. How is this being regulated? SC asks. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Supreme Court says that private hospitals in Gujarat are not admitting patients if they don't come on ambulance after dialing 108. What is the policy regarding this? SC asks Centre. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
How is the Centre trying to regulate the high cost being charged to admit and treat #COVID
patients. Is it left to states to determine the charges? Supreme Court asks Centre @MoHFW_INDIA #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
BREAKING : Supreme Court flags the issue of threat of coercive action against people putting SOS calls on social media.
"We want to make it very clear that if citizens communicate their grievance on social media and internet then it cannot be said its wrong information", SC says.
"We don't want any clampdown of information. We will treat it as a contempt of court if such grievances is considered for action.
Let a strong message go to all the states and DGP of states", Supreme Court says in strong words. #COVID19
"As an officer of the Court, I fully agree with what your lordships have said", Solicitor General Tushar Mehta says. #COVID19 #SupremeCourt
Justice Rao says all thes question need not be considered as talk to centre. These are all directions in areas where the court has to intervene. we are in a time of crisis.
Justice Rao requests not to treat this as 'adversarial litigation'
"We are only trying to help the executive so that health of citizens is protected", Justice Rao says. #SupremeCourt #COVID19
Justice Ravindra Bhat says that India was at the forefront in TRIPS negotiations on compulsory licensing and adds "this is the most important case for the same". #SupremeCourt #COVID19
Justice Bhat says that though Centre says in its affidavit that there are 10 PSUs who can manufacture and get licenses for the vaccines, Rs 4500 crores were given to vaccine manufacturers.
"We don't know what was that grant", Justice Bhat says. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Rule 19 and 20 of Drugs Price Control order mandates you to control the price of drugs, whether you procure or not let states get it from you - Justice Bhat tells Solicitor General. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
Justice Bhat flags the issue of differential pricing of vaccines. Says manufacturers are charging Centre Rs150 but 300 or 400 to states. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Vaccines
"Why should we as a nation pay this? The price difference becomes 30 to 40,000 crores. There is no point for price difference. We are not directing it but you should look into it", Justice Bhat tells Solicitor General on differential pricing for COVID vaccines. #SupremeCourt
AstraZeneca is providing vaccines at far lower price to the US citizens then why should we be paying so much? Justice Ravindra Bhat asks Centre @MoHFW_INDIA
. #SupremeCourt #CovidVaccine @SerumInstIndia
Medical professionals are reaching a breaking point. We cannott just say they are #Covid
warriors. Look at how nurses are dying. They play a vital role. Its time we speak about them and express gratitude - Justice Bhat. #SupremeCourt #CovidVaccine
Justice Ravindra Bhat urges Solicitor General to use his powers as Solicitor General to ensure that medical professionals who are doing more are paid more. #SupremeCourt #CovidVaccine
Justice Chandrachud : I read about Gurudwara langars. But as a nation lets make this work. Vaccine pricing is extremely important. #SupremeCourt #CovidVaccine
Justice Chandrachud reiterates that a "national immunization policy" must be followed. He flags concerns about exclusion of SC/STs, disenfranchised from vaccination coverage. #SupremeCourt #CovidVaccine
Supreme Court tells Centre not to leave vaccine pricing to the manufacturers.
"Dont leave it to the manufacturers. How will they determine equity?. Invoke your powers to see that additional facilities are created for vaccine manufacturing", Justice Chandrachud tells SG.
Solicitor General tells the bench that 60% of people who are briefing him are #COVID
"Officers who sat with me till 1 am are covid positive. This is an issue facing the nation and we must respond as a nation", SG tells bench.
Court has earmarked certain areas on which we have to respond. Some of the issues your lordships have cited are new or have policy ramifications. It would not be advisable for me to immediately respond - Solicitor General tells bench.
"Government is always open and do all needed for citizens"- Solicitor General tells the bench. #SupremeCourt #COVID19
Solicitor General tells bench that Gujarat has withdrawn the policy of giving hospital admission to patients brought only in ambulances, as it was arbitrary and irrational. #SupremeCourt #COVID19
Solicitor General tells that hospitals cannot seek residence proof from patients as treatment cannot be resident specific. #SupremeCourt #COVID19
Judges are having a discussion among themselves. #SupremeCourt #COVID19
Bench now highlight the issue of oxygen shortage.
"We will hear citizens crying for oxygen cylinders", Justice Chandrachud says. #SupremeCourt #COVID19
Ground situation in Delhi is oxygen is not really available. same in Gujarat, Maharashtra : Justice Chandrachud. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen
Our hearing must make a difference. Tell us how much oxygen will be made available to critical states : Justice Chandrachud. #SupremeCourt #COVID19 #Oxygen
Solicitor General tells the bench that no country will face the kind of demand for liquid medical oxygen which India is facing.
SG adds that issue of Delhi is being debated in Delhi High Court.
Centre is doing all its best to extract oxygen from wherever possible; transportation and logistics to be handled at state level - SG.
SG says that Delhi may be finding difficulty to lift allotted quantity due to logistical problems, shortage of tankers etc. More and more tankers will ease problem. #SupremeCourt #Oxygen
SG says that there is a virtual control room working 24 x 7 to monitor oxygen needs of states. #SupremeCourt #Oxygen
Is it your case that inability of Delhi to get oxygen because of Delhi Govt is not able to lift it? Justice Chandrachud asks SG.
SG says he has a letter from a supplier who has offered to give 200 MT but Delhi is not lifting it.
What is the solution? Justice Chandrachud asks.
SG says the issue is mostly because Delhi is a non-industrial state(so no oxygen being produced there and oxygen needs to be brought from outside states). Centre is providing more tankers, SG says.
SG says some philanthropic industries are being involved to get tankers and oxygen on war footing.
"There is no oxygen shortage. But availability in some areas might be deficient because of inadequate lifting by states', SG tells Supreme Court. SG says 10000 MT of oxygen is available when bench said average demand is 8500 MT per day.
Justice Chandrachud points out that Delhi was allocated 490 MT of oxygen though the revised demand was 700 MT. #SupremeCourt #Oxygen
Justice Chandrachud to SG - "If there is a 200 MT deficit then you should give that straight away to Delhi. Centre has an important responsibility as far as citizens of Delhi is concerned.
You have said surplus is there in steel sector, then use that and supply to Delhi"
"Delhi is a non-industrial state like Goa, Uttarakhand and everybody cannot be on same board", Justice Ravindra Bhat. #SupremeCourt #Oxygen
Justice Chandrachud says between Monday and Friday there are 500 deaths.
Solicitor General says 500 deaths are not due to lack of oxygen supply.
'But we have to do something', Justice Chandrachud says
"Delhi represents the nation and there is hardly any one ethnically Delhite. Forget about someone not lifting oxygen. You have to push through since you have to save lives Mr Solicitor. You have a special responsibility as the Centre", Justice Chandrachud.
Solicitor General says that the Centre is walking a tight rope. Diverting a tanker means that supply to elsewhere will be cut short.
As a national authority which has a responsibility to the national capital you are answerable to the citizens - Supreme Court tells Centre.
Bench says private intervenors seeking for GST relief, compulsory licensing etc approach the amicus curiae and amicus will prepare a note with their suggestions.
Former Law Minister Ashwini Kumar @DrAshwani_Kumar
says he had written to CJI few days back about banning political and religious gatherings. Kumbh mela, other melas and panchayat elections are going on, he says.
Bench rises for lunch. Will resume at 2.30 PM.
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