Lawstreet Journal

Patna HC Reviews COVID Preparedness of the State; Directs it to Conduct Daily Press Meet [READ ORDER]

Lawstreet Journal 21 Apr 2021 12:03am

Image courtesy: Lawstreet Journal Judiciary Patna HC Reviews COVID Preparedness of the State; Directs it to Conduct Daily Press Meet [READ ORDER]

The Patna High Court delivered an oral order in several Public Interest Litigations (PIL).  The PILs were filed before the High Court raising concerns about the rising number of COVID cases and the ill-prepared healthcare facilities in the State.

The matter was considered by a bench comprising of Justices Chakradhari Sharan Singh and Mohit Kumar Shah. 

The court pointed to several newspaper reports on the alarming rise in infections and the lacunas in healthcare facilities. However, the court observed that it is not proper to exercise its writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution based on newspaper reports alone. Also, the court observed that fight against COVID is an executive function and courts should not interfere but the constitutional court must ensure that the fundamental rights of the citizens are not compromised. 

The court heard the Pratyaya Amrit, the Principal Secretary, Health Department, Government of Bihar who joined the proceeding virtually. The Principal Secretary provided statistics to the court which showed that the state had more hospital beds available than the patients in need. But the court was not fully convinced with the data provided.

The court held that even if the statistics are true there is little information about it in the public domain. So, the court directed that:

“…the Principal Secretary, Health Department to bring the aforesaid information in public domain through media and ensure that at-least once every day at a fixed time, a press briefing on behalf of the Government is made disclosing facts, illustratively, the number of COVID cases,… Continue Reading...

Tagged: Patna High Court  
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