The Supreme Court has instructed the Centre to formulate a national policy within two weeks regarding the admission of patients into hospitals in light of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The bench, headed by Justice DY Chandrachud, said till the formulation of a national policy by the Centre on admissions to hospitals, "no patient shall be denied hospitalisation or essential drugs in any state/UT for lack of local residential proof of that state/UT or even in the absence of identity proof."
Justice D Y Chandrachud, Justice L Nageswara Rao and Justice Ravindra Bhat, comprising a three-membered apex court bench, directed the Centre and the State governments to make sure that any suppression of information on social media or harassment caused to people seeking help online will lead to strict action and penalty. It would also be treated as contempt of court.
"The Central government and state governments shall notify all chief secretaries, directors general of police, commissioners of police that any clampdown on information on social media or harassment caused to individuals seeking/delivering help on any platform will attract a coercive exercise of jurisdiction by this court. The registrar (judicial) is also directed to place a copy of this order before all district magistrates in the country," said an order that was uploaded on the SC website, reported The News Minute.
Apart from this order, the Supreme Court has also directed the Centre that the problem of lack of oxygen in the nation's capital must be resolved before midnight of May 3.
"The Central Government shall, in collaboration with the states, prepare a buffer stock of oxygen for emergency purposes and decentralize the location of the emergency stocks. The emergency stocks shall be created within the next four days and are to be replenished on a day to day basis, in addition to the existing allocation of oxygen supply to the States," stated the bench.
The SC directed the Centre to reanalyze its initiatives and other protocols which include oxygen availability, pricing of vaccines, and availability of the necessary drugs.
In addition to this, senior advocates Jaideep Gupta and Meenakshi Arora were asked to compile and collate the suggestions that were brought to them by several parties. As of now, the matter has been listed for its next hearing on May 10.
"There should be free flow of information; we should hear voices of citizens. This is a national crisis. There should not be any presumption that the grievances raised on the Internet are always false. Let a strong message be sent to all the DGPs that there should not be any kind of clampdown," remarked the three-membered bench.
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