New Delhi, July 14 | The Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will examine the limit of constitutional courts when venturing into matters that fall under the purview of the executive in connection with the Covid-19 management.
A bench comprising justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari said: “We may have 110 suggestions, but will it become an order. We have to remember; we are a constitutional court”.
The bench added, “How far can a constitutional court go, when public health emergencies like Covid-19 occurs?” The top court made this observation disagreeing with the Allahabad High Court directions to the Uttar Pradesh government on providing a specific number of ambulances and other amenities, connected with Covid-19 management, across the state.
Justice Saran queried, whether it would at all be needed for the high court to tread on this arena?
The bench emphasized that the objective should be fairness to everybody so that sufferance is minimum, but courts have to respect the demarcation. The bench observed, “How far was Ram Bharose comment justified?”
The bench said it does not want to comment on requirement of ambulances and oxygen in the state. The bench added: “It’s not that you cannot give suggestions but how can you ask local companies to take vaccine formula and manufacture it? How can such directions be given?”
Justice Maheshwari said these questions are for the executive and amid crisis, everybody has to proceed cautiously.
Senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, amicus curiae in the matter, submitted there are other views on this issue also. He added there are other courts which interfere in these matters as well, more so when executive fails in discharging its obligations.
Interestingly, a bench headed by Justice R.F. Nariman on Wednesday took suo moto cognizance of the Uttar Pradesh government’s decision to allow Kanwar Yatra amid the ongoing Covid pandemic.
The top court said citizens of India are completely perplexed, as they do not know what is going on.
Earlier, a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud had passed a slew of directions in connection with Centre’s vaccine policy as well as oxygen management by Centre and states. Later, Centre revised its vaccine policy.
Gupta urged the court to ensure whatever UP government proposes to do, should be done before the third wave. The bench said it will take up the matter on August 12.
On May 21, the top court had stayed the directions issued by Allahabad High Court, on May 17, in connection with Covid-19 management in Uttar Pradesh, stressing that the high courts should not pass orders “that are impossible to implement”.
While passing its directions, the Allahabad High Court had observed the entire medical system of the state, especially in smaller cities and villages, can only be called “At Ram Bharose” (at the mercy of God).