Supreme Court to hear a PIL seeking directions to carry out mass house-to-house tests for tracing, identifying, isolating infected persons within the territory of India.
The petition has been filed by Advocates practicing in the High Court of Allahabad namely Shashwat Anand, Ankur Azad and Faiz Ahmed and a Law student Sagar. It is submitted that the mass house to house test is necessary to break the chains of transmission, desirably, starting with the States and Cities on a priority basis which are the most severely affected to contain its exponential spread in every nook and corner of the country.
The petitioners have further sought a direction to the Central Government and the States to transfer the money collected in the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF), the ‘PM-Cares Fund’, and the CM-Relief Funds of the States, to the National Disaster Response Fund (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) established under the Disaster Management Act, 2005. Further the may be used for combating coronavirus and the procurement of testing kits, ventilators, personal protective equipments (PPEs), creation and maintenance of quarantine centres, etc. under the Disaster Management Act.
The petitioners have also prayed that the PM-CARES Fund and the CM- Relief Funds of the States be declared as collection agencies for collecting money under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
The petitioner’s have pointed out that “India’s response to fighting this pandemic is basal. It is primarily focused on curbing community transmission, rather than managing, identifying and treating the virus infection following the mass tests which is, to put it differently, evinced by the lack of enough and mass house-to-house tests as proportional to the humongous and densely packed population of India.”
Further it has been highlighted that even the WHO has suggested that all the countries must follow a pro-active and comprehensive approach, as the most effective way to prevent infections and save lives by breaking the chains of transmission, and the only way to do that is to test, identify and isolate.
Moreover the petitioners have submitted that the “ lack of adequate numbers of tests put the lives of 1.38 billion population of Indians at peril and directly affects the Right to Life Personal Liberty and the Right to Health guaranteed by the Article 21 of the Constitution of India, 1950”.
-India Legal Bureau