Tamil Nadu

Madras High Court closes suo motu public interest litigation to monitor fight against COVID-19 second wave

The Madras High Court on Tuesday closed a public interest litigation petition taken up by it suo motu in April to monitor the steps taken by the Centre, the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry governments to fight the second wave of COVID-19.

Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said from all counts, the second wave appeared to have subsided in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, and though there was no scientific basis, at present, to expect a third surge, there were certainly some apprehensions of it.

Stating that the matters appeared to be under control now, the judges chose to close the suo motu case, along with a few other connected PILs filed by individuals, and hoped that the country would be more prepared, than it was when the second surge descended, to deal with the third surge.

Advising governments not to dismantle immediately the infrastructure created to fight the second surge, and to continue the enhanced production of oxygen, the judges said these facilities would come in handy if there was a third wave in the next four to six months. As far as vaccines were concerned, the court said it was encouraging that supply of vaccines to the State government had been resumed. It hopes that the supply would be increased in the days to come so that the entire population could be inoculated earlier than previously envisaged.

“It is also evident that awareness drives have been undertaken both in the print and electronic media to ensure that superstitions pertaining to do the side effects of vaccine do not deter people from coming forward and being inoculated,” the judges said.

Making it clear that the suo motu proceedings were initiated only as a supervisory exercise at a time when the pandemic raged at an alarming level and was never the intention of the court to take over administration, the Bench said: “The proceedings appear to have at least provided a platform for the Central and State governments to come together and ensure supplies of of drugs, oxygen and other essentials to Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.”

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 1:16:55 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/madras-high-court-closes-suo-motu-public-interest-litigation-to-monitor-fight-against-covid-19-second-wave/article34919807.ece

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