Courts Update Plea in SC seeks directions for utilisation of PM...

Plea in SC seeks directions for utilisation of PM Cares Fund in procuring vaccine, installing oxygen plants


New Delhi, May 15 (ILNS) A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to utilise the PM Cares Fund to procure COVID-19 vaccine and install oxygen plants and other essential equipment in district hospitals across the country, amid the second wave of the pandemic.

The plea, filed by Advocate Viplav Sharma, inter-alia, seeks the following reliefs:
• Direction to install the procured oxygen plants/generators and other equipment in 738 district hospitals, where medical services are available free of cost for COVID-19 patients.

• Direction to the Central and state governments to ensure that all private/charitable hospitals within their respective jurisdiction/administration procure, install and commission facilities to provide medical oxygen to their patients.

• Direction to state governments to set up electric and other crematoriums in all cities and also maintain and improve the condition of existing electric crematoriums.

• That Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) of all the states should be directed to spend their MP/MLA funds in a disciplined manner with full transparency to best serve their respective constituency.

• Direction to Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) of all the states to spend their MP/MLA funds in a disciplined manner with full transparency, to best serve their respective constituency.

• Staying the Notification of Customs dated April 24, 2021 of the Central Government (exemption on import duty of the medical equipment relating to medical oxygen generation has been granted in the wake of its acute/rising demand) only to the extent of interfering with the wrongful capping of “import duty exemption period for three months” (until July 31, 2021), as this three months cap of exemption period is too short a period from the standpoint of logistics involved in importing these highly sophisticated medical equipment in India by over 300 concerned notable Hospitals throughout the country.

The petitioner prayed to the Court to kindly consider to enlarge this short limited cap of three months exemption period to the period it deems appropriate.

The plea stated the following grounds for the relief it sought:-

• Preamble of the Constitution is an integral part of the Constitution by which the People of India have adopted, enacted and given to themselves the comprehensive written Constitution by which they will be governed and that being the basic feature and foundation of the Constitution, they cannot be governed otherwise much less by dictatorial method and/or in gross violation of the Constitution and other statutory laws and that the governance in accordance with the Constitution and the laws made thereunder is the fundamental right of the people of India, including the Petitioner for himself and for all his fellow citizens as enshrined in the Preamble thereof and such right is necessarily required to be protected and enforced under Article 32 of the Constitution by this Court.

• The Supreme Court, being the Constitutional Court and guardian of the fundamental and constitutional rights of the people/citizen of this country, guaranteed to each one of them under Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution, which under the presently prevailing pandemic times are liable to be restored, protected and enforced by the apex court.

• The Disaster Management Act, 2005 has been legislated by Parliament and the same is full code in itself for the effective management of disasters and for the matters connected thereto and that the disaster management scheme, as envisaged vide the provisions provided under the said Act as also the mechanism provided thereunder, if adhered in letter and spirit and completeness, is the best available solution for successfully combating,
(i) COVID -19 pandemic
(ii) adverse repercussions as presently existing like the absence of timely, regular and adequate availability/supplies of oxygen, vaccine, food, drinking water, shelter, medical cover and sanitation etc., having arisen against the poor/lower income group citizen/people and their families (with members of different ages and thereby, with different needs) who are in substantial percentage of total population of the country.
• The Central, all the State and the UT Governments and other concerned agencies, to ensure all hospitals within their respective administration to be to be equipped with sufficient/adequate means and logistics providing medical oxygen, vaccine and medical treatment to COVID patients with judicial accountability of all concerns which is possible only by way of appropriate orders/directions of Supreme Court
• The actual and practical implementation of the ‘National Plan’ at the grass-root level after the same being forthwith made as per DMA, 2005 in respect of the aforesaid subject matter consequent to the orders, if deemed appropriate and passed by Supreme Court, also deserves to be observed/recorded in transparent manner and the same is possible if the District Judicial Officers are entrusted with this solemn responsibility.

Advocate Viplav Sharma has also written an application to Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, for the urgent listing of this case. ILNS/ABV/RJ


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