Several judges of the Supreme Court of India have recently contracted the H1N1 virus – commonly known as swine flu – according to Justice DY Chandrachud of the apex court, and confirmed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (though they differed on the numbers of judges affected).
The judge informed his court that six judges were down with the flu, and that Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had called a meeting with the Supreme Court Bar Association to discuss preventive measures to stop the problem from spreading.
At a meeting between the CJI and other judges, Justice Chandrachud reportedly asked CJI Bobde to issue necessary directions to address the ‘emergency situation,’ and suggested inoculation of judges and court staff.
Ministry of Health and Welfare Statement
The Ministry of Health and Welfare released a statement in the afternoon of 25 February, in which it said that five judges of the apex court “have been affected from Swine Flu which is caused by H1N1 virus.”
The Ministry statement notes that preventive measures were immediately taken by it to curb the situation, including
- Strengthening the First Aid Post (FAP) of CGHS at the Supreme Court premises.
- Providing treatment to all judges as per protocol, with prophylactic treatment also given to all who have come in contact with them.
- All five judges who had contracted the virus were placed in home isolation.
- Sanitising court rooms and residences.
Of the five judges who contracted the illness, the Ministry said “three Judges have already resumed their duty and two continue to be under home isolation/observation and are recovering.”
The Ministry is also conducting an H1N1 sensitization workshop for lawyers and other staff members at the Bar Council of India office on Wednesday, 26 February.
It is unclear at this time which of the judges of the court have contracted the flu, though The Indian Express claims that two of them are part of the nine-judge bench set up to hear the Sabarimala review questions and related religion matters, and that one of them is part of the bench in court 12, which is hearing the petitions asking for the removal of the Shaheen Bagh protesters.
(This is a developing story and will be updated with more details when they are verified.)