The Supreme Court on Wednesday while hearing a PIL to check the menace of black marketing of hand sanitizers and face masks amid the outbreak of pandemic COVID-19 has issued notice to the Central Government and has sought reply within a week.
The petitioners pleaded before the Court that the items such as hand sanitizers, face masks and personal protection equipments have been already declared by the Government as essential commodity under the relevant law and thus it is extremely necessary in this pandemic to ensure free supply of these goods.
Acting upon the plea, the division bench comprising of Justice L. Nageshwara Rao & Justice Abdul Nazeer directed the centre to file its reply by 6th of April, 2020 i.e. by Monday.
In this afore said petition, the petitioners have prayed before the Supreme Court to issue directions to respondent authorities to discharge their duty for public welfare and public health care and, to ensure fair and equitable distribution of surgical/ N95 masks, hand sanitizers, liquid soap and make these items available to the public at large which are essential in order to deal with the pandemic. The petitioners are also seeking directions to create a special task force to be formulated to look effectively implement the notifications of the government.
The writ petition has been preferred before the Court mainly on the grounds that widespread infection and the growing number of cases are required to be made by effective precautionary methods and the government must provide for the apparatus and ensure the availability of such apparatus to successfully carry out precautionary methods. It is failure on part of government if it does not provide adequate and effective mechanism.
The case is now to be listed on Monday i.e. 6th of April, 2020.
–India Legal Bureau