New Delhi: Taking suo moto cognizance on issues related to oxygen supply, drug supply, and vaccine policy in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court on Friday said no state should clampdown information if citizens communicate their grievances on social media.Also Read - Covid or no COVID, Work From Home Policy Stays on Table For Several Companies | Full List
“It is grave concern to me as a citizen or judge. If citizens communicate their grievances on social media, we do not want clamp down on information. Let us hear the voices of citizens,” Justice DY Chandrahud said during the hearing in the top court. Also Read - Navjot Singh Sidhu, Given 1 Year Jail in Road Rage Case, Lodged in Patiala Jail After Surrender
He also said that the Centre should show investment by it to ramp up the manufacture of vaccines. “This will be the most important intervention by Central government when private manufacturers have been funded to produce vaccines,” Chandrachud added. Also Read - Gyanvapi Mosque Row: SC Stays Interim Order On Securing Shivling, Transfers Case to Varanasi District Judge
The apex court asked that will one state get priority access over another in getting the vaccines? “Centre says 50% will be procured by states for vaccines. How will the vaccine manufacturers ensure equity? Centre to submit exact population between 18 to 45,” the top court said.
A bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud heard a plea seeking oxygen cylinders, essential medicines, and extra medical staff to Maharashtra hospitals by the Central government.
The apex court on April 22 took suo motu cognizance of the “alarming situation” in connection with various health emergencies including oxygen shortage, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and issued notice to the Centre seeking a response on kinds of immediate and effective action it can take to handle such situation.
The Court, during the previous hearing, asked the Centre to present and apprise it as to whether a national plan can be prepared to handle this worrisome situation. It made these remarks, after noting and taking into the record at least six different state High Courts, including the Delhi High Court, have been hearing the matter on the same issues.