Gujarat HC initiates suo motu PIL on COVID-19 ‘health emergency’ in state

The Gujarat High Court on Sunday initiated a suo motu PIL over the coronavirus situation in the state, observing that media reports on the pandemic indicate that the state was heading towards a “health emergency of sorts”. Through an oral order, Chief Justice Vikram Nath directed the high court registry to register a fresh suo motu PIL titled “In Re : Uncontrolled upsurge and serious management issues in COVID control”.

This is the second such PIL registered by the state high court on coronavirus situation. The first PIL was registered last year and it is still being heard at regular intervals.

The chief justice informed the registry to make the Gujarat government, its health department as well as the central government parties in the fresh Public Interest Litigation (PIL).

The PIL will be heard on Monday by the division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Bhargav D Karia at Nath’s official residence through online mode.

The chief justice said that “news channels are flooded with the harrowing tales, unfortunate and unimaginable difficulties and unmanageable conditions of the infrastructure”.

Citing these media reports, he noted that there exists a “shortfall or deficit of not only testing, beds and ICU, but also supply of oxygen and basic medicines like Ramdesivir, etc”.

The chief justice further noted that these reports “indicate that the state is heading towards a health emergency of sorts”.

Gujarat on Sunday reported 5,469 new cases of coronavirus, which took its caseload to 3,47,495.

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