A letter petition send to the Chief Justice of India to take Suo Motu in view of the Sudden increase of COVID-19 cases and issue directions to ban political rallies, protest assemblies, religious and festive congregations of more than 50 people until the COVID situation is under control.
The letter is written by the Supreme Court Senior Advocate Dr Ashwini Kumar who asks the Court to immediately ban the export of COVID vacancies in view of the backdrop that daily more than 2 lac new Cronavirus cases are reported. He also asks the court to issue directions to Permit import of vaccines after ensuring of their efficacy to treat Corona, to make vaccines available to all age groups and to facilitate in-situ vaccination as far as possible but especially of the old and the infirm.
“This is a plea by a citizen and an officer of the Court, for this august Institution to take judicial notice of the extraordinary threat to human lives in the country following a devastating surge in the Corona cases, and to issue suitable directions suo-moto in the exercise of its plenary jurisdiction in pursuance of Article 21 of the Constitution,”
He submits that according to uncontroverted media reports, Corona cases in the country have crossed the two lac mark per day, with no signs of the surge abating in the near future. It is officially acknowledged and medically confirmed that the life threatening surge in the number of Corona cases, which is highest in the world is substantially on account of a free run enjoyed by the super-spreading events including political rallies, religious congregations and festive events until the situation is under control. The enclosed annexures tell a grim story.
He cites instance of the such super-spreading event in the recent Kumbh Mela being held in Haridwar, where almost 2,000 people have tested positive for the Coronavirus;
1- Other instances include the election campaigns being held in different states, where political leaders have held massive rallies flouting Covid rules.
2-Festivals have also been celebrated where there have been gatherings in huge numbers, once again flouting the Covid rules.
3- Such events have contributed significantly to the resurgence of Corona cases throughout the country.
4. Even so, no purposive and effective action has been taken by the Central and State Governments on a uniform basis across the country to stop such gatherings. There is laxity even in enforcing the limited restrictions announced by some of the State Governments from time to time.
He says, while there may be a case against total lockdown in the country, there is absolutely no justification for permitting/condoning super spreading events that pose an unacceptable threat to human life in a negation of Article 21 of the Constitution.
He further states that the nation expects the highest Court of the country, as the designated protector of fundamental rights, to exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction in these troubled times and vindicate its role as custodian of the constitutional conscience. This Court has, on several earlier and lesser occasions shown the way in non-adversarial public interest causes as the present one. Clearly, as laid down by the Hon’ble Court in several of its celebrated pronouncements, the right to life stands at the pinnacle in the hierarchy of constitutional rights.
Furthermore, the petitioner submits, considering the gravity of threat to human life and the constitutional responsibility cast upon this Hon’ble Court to protect and secure the lives of citizens, the Court may issue suo-moto directions to the Central and State Governments.