The Punjab and Haryana High Court recently allowed the import on ventilators without further delay, observing that “In the circumstances, when the nation is witnessing huge number of deaths everyday and certain deaths have happened for want of ventilators, the denial of permission to import the ventilators by the administration is not in the interest of the patients.”
The order was passed by the bench of Justices Rajan Gupta and Karamjit Singh. The bench said, “This extreme technicality in difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic is highly deplorable. In fact, the state ought to have facilitated import of the ventilators. Thousands of people, who are lying admitted, are not getting oxygen or ventilators, which is very vital for the treatment of Covid patients. The oxygen and ICUs are required here and now. Any delay by the administration in providing the ventilators shall definitely result into fatalities.”
The Court ordered that imports may be allowed immediately, but the ventilators must carry certification from the manufacturer.
The bench ordered: “For the larger interest of the patients and to ensure that the ventilators received are as per the specifications prescribed by the competent authority.”
The court directed the petitioner to inform within 24 hours after their receipt to the competent authority to inspect the same with regard to quality thereof. The court also ordered: “On receipt of such information, the competent authority shall depute the concerned official to determine the factum that the ventilators are fit to be utilized.
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“In case, the same are found to be deficient as per the specifications laid down by the Government of India, the same be not put to use. However, the petitioner shall pay all duties admissible on such goods, and it will be only after the certification by the competent authority, the ventilators in question be put to use,” the order reads.
The Court was hearing a Petition filed by SB Medical Systems on 15.6.2020 regarding import of ventilators in question.
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