‘There Is No Stay by SC’: Bombay HC To Continue Hearing COVID PIL
Despite Centre’s push, the Bombay HC refused to defer the hearing on a PIL concerning COVID crisis in Maharashtra.
Observing that the Supreme Court has not stayed the proceedings pending before various high courts, the Bombay High Court refused to defer hearing on a PIL concerning the management of the COVID-19 crisis in Maharashtra.
Despite the Central government persuading the court not to hear the present matter citing the latest development at the Supreme Court, the bench led by Chief Justice Dipankar Dutta decided to continue with the hearing.
The Bombay High Court highlighted that the Supreme Court, while registering a suo motu COVID-19 crisis, did not pass any order staying the proceedings before the high courts.
Therefore, the court held, that there is nothing that prevents them from hearing the COVID-19 PIL at this moment. The said decision has come in a PIL filed by advocates Sneha Marjadi seeking the court’s intervention in issues related to the oxygen supply, drug supply, and vaccination in Maharashtra.
Centre Citing SC Suo Motu
The present order arises from the arguments made by the Central government, bringing to the court’s notice that the apex court has taken a suo motu on the COVID-19 crisis across the country.
Appearing for the Central government, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh submitted before the court that the Supreme Court “might transfer all COVID-related petitions pending before various high courts to itself”.
The Bombay High Court rejected the Centre’s request and noted that since the Supreme Court has not officially stayed the proceedings before the high courts, it will continue to hear the present PIL.
Supreme Court Registers Suo Motu Case on COVID-19 Crisis
Earlier today, the Supreme Court of India took suo motu cognisance of the crisis unravelling in the country due to the second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic. The apex court registered a case, suo motu, on the management of issues arising in various states due to rising COVID cases.
While taking up the case, the bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde also appointed Senior Advocate Harish Salve as amicus curiae to assist the court on this matter.
“We as a court wish to take suo motu cognisance of certain issues. We find that there are six high courts – Delhi, Bombay Sikkim, MP, Calcutta, and Allahabad. They are exercising jurisdiction in best interest. But it is creating confusion and diversion of resources.”Supreme Court
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