New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday allowed senior advocate Harish Salve to withdraw as amicus curiae for the suo motu case related to distribution of essential supplies and services, including oxygen and drugs, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Supreme Court was hearing the suo motu cognisance case on COVID-19 crisis and also examined the judicial power of High Courts to declare lockdown.Also Read - Supreme Court Asks Centre For Plan on Issues Relating to Oxygen Supply, Essential Drugs and Vaccination Method

A three-judge bench of the court, headed by CJI SA Bobde, allowed Harish Salve to withdraw himself as amicus curiae in suo motu case related to national plan on COVID-19 management. Also Read - No Lockdown in 5 UP Cities for Now, Supreme Court Stays Allahabad HC's Order

Harish Salve referred to criticism by some lawyers on being appointed amicus curiae in COVID-related matter in the Supreme Court.

“I don’t want case to be decided under shadow that I knew CJI,” Harish Salve told the Supreme Court.

The court said, “We are also pained at reading what some senior lawyers have to say on Salve’s appointment as amicus in COVID related matter.”

The bench rapped some senior lawyers for making remarks without reading its order and said it did not transfer cases to itself from high courts.

“You have imputed motives to us without reading our order,” the SC bench told senior advocate Dushyant Dave.

Meanwhile, on the matter of shortage of oxygen, ,” CJI SA Bobde observed, “People are dying due to lack of oxygen.”

“We never said a word and did not stop high courts, we had asked Centre to go to HCs and report to them,” it said.

The Supreme Court granted time to the Centre to file reply in suo motu case on distribution of essential supplies and services during COVID-19 pandemic. The CJI adjourned the matter to Tuesday, April 27.