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Retd bureaucrats’ plea in SC: Set up commission to look into Govt. failures in COVID management

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A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking the setting up of an independent inquiry commission to look into the into “the government’s gross mismanagement of the COVID 19 pandemic in India.” The petition asked for a Commission under the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952.

The petition has been filed by retired bureaucrat KP Fabian and others. They have said that such an inquiry is essential in seeking accountability from the Union government with respect to its “failure in management of COVID 19”.

The petitioners have submitted that the government failed to take timely measures for preventing the spread of COVID 19, in spite of being informed about the same in early January by the WHO. Moreover, the government failed to disseminate material on public awareness about COVID 19 and preventive measures to be undertaken by the people, including using masks, sanitization of hands, avoiding mass gatherings, etc in derogation of the NDMA Act.

It has further been said that the government’s “belated response” to the pandemic and failure to take timely measures for screening international passengers and spreading public awareness about COVID 19 not only led to transmission of the disease among citizens, but also impelled the government to impose the draconian lockdown which caused immense economic suffering among the people.

Moreover, it has been alleged that as per media reports and surveys it is evident that the government imposed the lockdown and its subsequent extensions without consulting the experts, which is contrary to the mandate of Section 12 of the NDMA Act.

Citing this, the petitioners have prayed for setting up of a Commission under Section 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952. They want this commission to be headed by a retired Supreme Court Judge and should comprise experts from the fields of medical science, epidemiology, public health, law and social sciences to for an independent inquiry.

– India Legal Bureau

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