The Bombay High Court pulled up the Maharashtra government for not complying with its earlier order to ensure the supply of 10,000 vials of Remdesivir (one of the drugs used for treating the SARS-CoV-2 virus in hospitalised adults), the anti-viral drug, to Covid-19 hospitals Nagpur. The Nagpur bench termed this as a failure of the Maharashtra government for not taking responsibility and neglecting the needs of the society despite court instructions as deeds of a "nasty and evil society".
Courts Lashes Out At Maharashtra Government
A division bench of Justices S B Shukre and S M Modak termed this as violating people's fundamental rights. The court was hearing many petitions on the issue of the pandemic, especially the lack of medical facilities in hospitals and the difficulties faced by people in securing ICU beds and emergency drugs. "You are saying that you are not in a position to comply with the order. Then what is the solution according to you? You are saying there was stock, but not available for Nagpur. How come Thane gets more and Nagpur gets less cannot be explained," Justice Shukre retorted. "We thought this order would have supported you in procuring the vials. But instead, you are defending their actions. You are siding with the officers of Mumbai, and Nagpur people are left high and dry. Not just Nagpur, but other cities in Maharashtra as well," the court said. Reported by INDIA TODAY
Curb Malpractices And Make Essential Drugs Available
Senior advocate MG Bhangde appeared for the Maharashtra government and submitted two affidavits to the court filed by the Joint Commissioner (FDA) and the Additional Collector, Nagpur. After studying these affidavits, the bench observed that they had made contradictory statements on why the order could not comply. They were only making excuses and protecting the system. The court also attended a recent case where a Gujarat based pharma company tried to export 60000 vials of the scheduled Remdesivir drug despite a ban on the export. The court observed that these malpractices cases could be more rampant, and it was the duty of the concerned authorities to make periodic checks and surprise raids.
These are challenging times where resources of State and Central governments are being tested to the hilt. However, for the people, the common people, the elected government is the only source of hope in despair. State and Central governments should go to the maximum extent possible to provide the necessary tools in the fight against the pandemic, particularly when the courts have ordered them to.