Should Indian Army, paramilitary force and others be summoned for assistance ? – SC asks Centre

What is this called, if not a national emergency?

New Delhi – ‘Indian Army, paramilitary force and the doctors in Indian Railways fall under the authority of Central Government. Given that, can they be utilised for assisting the vaccination drive, enforcing quarantine rules or for any other task? What is the national plan regarding this? Vaccination has become a need of the hour. What has the Centre planned for vaccine prices?’, Supreme Court (SC) asked the Central Government. The SC had demanded a concrete national plan from the Centre to face the rising Covid crisis. The case was heard on 27th April. A plan was submitted by the Govvernment. during the hearing; however, SC expressed discontent over it and questioned the Centre.

  1. SC asked, ‘What is it called, if not a national emergency?’ The Supreme Court also questioned the rationale behind different pricing of Covid vaccines. The court has asked the Centre to clarify over the issue.
  2. SC further said, ‘We are not preventing the High Court from exercising their power. High Courts are in a better position to look into this. Supreme Court must intervene too because there may be national or systemic issues. At the time of national crisis Supreme Court cannot be a mute spectator. We will establish the coordination between the States.’
  3. Supreme Court has asked States to provide information regarding fundamental infrastructure of health facilities and said that the next hearing will be on 30th April.

SC’s instructions to the Centre

  1. The Centre must clarify about the current status of oxygen supply. How much oxygen is left? How much do the States need ? On what basis is Centre distributing oxygen to the States ? What process is being followed to estimate this?
  2.  Providing health facilities needs to be increased. Increase the Covid beds.
  3. Tell us what steps are being taken to fill up the necessity of emergency medicines such as Remdesivir and Favipiravir.