SCBA opposes Supreme Court suo motu cognizance of oxygen, drug shortage

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has opposed the transferring of COVID-related issues from High Courts to the Supreme Court through an Intervention Application in the Suo Motu cognizance taken by the Supreme Court to look after the critical situation arising due to the shortage in oxygen supply to hospitals in the Capital and also the shortage of life-saving drugs.

The Supreme Court Bar Association stated, “Hon’ble High Courts, situated almost invariably in the capital of the States, are in a better position to seek immediate reports from the local administration and pass directions and orders for immediate removal of difficulties arising in treatment of the infected patients depending upon local emergent situation.”

The Intervention Application has been filed soon after the Supreme Court took suo motu cognizance of the critical situation arising due to shortage in supply of oxygen to hospitals in the Capital.

Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde said, “We will draft the notice and issue it to the Centre. Then, we will issue notice to the High Courts. Eventually, we will bring some issues here.”

The SCBA has sought direction to be impleaded as a party in the matter stating, “a large number of members of Supreme Court Bar Association and their family are infected due to COVID. However, with all resources available to the SCBA through its various esteemed members as well as its own status, the Executive Committee is unable to ensure proper hospitalisation, supply of essential drugs, etc. for its members and their family, hence the plight of common people is inconceivable.”

The application further stated that the High Courts appear to be best suited to deal with the situation, while seeking direction to allow the High Courts to continue dealing with the present issue.
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