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Court Will Treat Action Against Covid Appeals On Social Media As 'Contempt Of Court'

'We do not want to clamp down on information. Let us hear the voices of citizens,' Justice DY Chandrahud said during the hearing

Supreme Court made several comments today amid Covid surge in India. File photo

Amid an unprecedented surge in Covid cases across the country, the Supreme Court Friday said that no state should clampdown on information if citizens communicate their grievances on social media and the court will "treat this as contempt if any citizen is harassed.”

“It is a grave concern to me as a citizen or judge. If citizens communicate their grievances on social media, we do not want to clamp down on information. Let us hear the voices of citizens,” Justice DY Chandrahud said during the hearing in the top court. 

He also said that the Centre should show investment by it to ramp up the manufacture of vaccines. “This will be the most important intervention by Central government when private manufacturers have been funded to produce vaccines,” Chandrachud added. 

The apex court asked that will one state get priority access over another in getting the vaccines? “Centre says 50% will be procured by states for vaccines. How will the vaccine manufacturers ensure equity? Centre to submit exact population between 18 to 45,” the top court said.

The apex court on April 22 took suo motu cognizance of the “alarming situation” in connection with various health emergencies including oxygen shortage, during the COVID-19 pandemic, and issued notice to the Centre seeking a response on kinds of immediate and effective action it can take to handle such situation.

The Court, during the previous hearing, asked the Centre to present and apprise it as to whether a national plan can be prepared to handle this worrisome situation. It made these remarks, after noting and taking into the record at least six different state High Courts, including the Delhi High Court, have been hearing the matter on the same issues.

 

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