The Supreme Court dismissed plea seeking direction to the government to carry out universal house-to-house testing to trace people infected by COVID-19, to isolate and treat them.
A three-judges bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justice NV Ramana, Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice BR Gavai directed the petitioner to either withdraw the petition or else the bench would impose a heavy fine on petitioner. Dismissing the petition, the bench remarked “This petition has political colours!”
The petition was filed by Advocates practicing in the High Court of Allahabad namely Shashwat Anand, Ankur Azad and Faiz Ahmed and a Law student Sagar. They submitted that mass house to house test was 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 petition 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 that fund may be used for combating coronavirus and the procurement of testing kits, ventilators, personal protective equipment’s (PPEs), creation and maintenance of quarantine center’s, etc. under the Disaster Management Act.
It was 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.
–India Legal Bureau