New Delhi [India], July 14 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it would examine how far Constitutional Courts can go into issues that fall within the executive domain when public health emergencies like COVID-19 occur.
"The limited question we want to ask is that how far can Constitutional Courts go in such matters. Collective efforts are needed during times of crisis, but good intent itself does not give everybody a right to enter into a different arena," a Bench of Justice Vineet Saran and Justice Dinesh Maheshwari said.
The apex court was hearing an appeal filed by the Uttar Pradesh government against the May 17 order of the Allahabad High Court directing the State to ramp up medical facilities to tackle the COVID-19 crisis.
The High Court in its order had asked the Uttar Pradesh government to arrange a specific number of ambulances and other amenities across the state.
Hearing the matter today, the top court observed, "What we want to lay down is how far can Constitutional Court venture into an issue like this. How many ambulances are there, how many oxygen beds are there. We don't want to comment on that. It's not that you cannot give suggestions but how can you ask local companies to take vaccine formula and manufacture it? How can such directions be given?"
The Bench now posted the matter for hearing on August 12.
It has to be noted that the top court's three-judge Bench is also seized of a suo motu case related to COVID-19 and had passed a slew of directions in relation to the Central government's vaccine policy as well as Oxygen management by Centre and States.
Hearing Uttar Pradesh government's appeal against the High Court order, the apex court on May 23 had stayed the directions issued by the High Court on May 17 for upgrading the medical facilities in the state of Uttar Pradesh on a war-scale footing in wake of the second wave of COVID-19.
The apex court had also directed that the directions in the High Court be treated as mere suggestions. The High Court had passed the order in a suo moto case taken to deal with COVID-19 issues.
The Uttar Pradesh government also filed its affidavit in the top court in the case and said that it has a total of 2,200 basic life support ambulances in addition to 250 advanced life support ambulances.
The affidavit further stated that 298 oxygen centres have been provided by the Central government and another 20,000 such concentrators are being purchased. (ANI)