Law Students from Bihar move to Supreme Court, File Letter Petition on COVID-19 mismanagement
Intern, Legal Angles Patna
Recently on 5 May 2021, Mr Anupam Prabhat Shrivastava and Ms Aarya Sharma, Final Year Law Students from Central University of South Bihar, filed a Letter Petition before the Hon’ble Chief Justice of India and his companion Judges highlighting the issues pertaining to Covid-19 Corona Virus across the nation. They also sought the Hon’ble Court to issue the set of orders and directions to the Union Government and to all the respective State Governments to act upon those issues immediately.
It may be argued that even the situation was worse in the foreign countries despite of the fact which had fully developed health infrastructure. To react at this, we have to understand that the foreign countries might have experienced the bad phase of covid-19 as being faced by India but the population over there did not died to due to lack of Oxygen and Beds in the hospitals. We also need to understand that we did not elect our representatives to compare our situations with other countries. We elected them for bring the welfare to the people and to the nation, to act wisely in the need of time, and not for being ignorant.
Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, announced the state governments to impose lockdown and the state governments kept ignoring and acted delayed in imposing conditional lockdowns in their respective states. On the other hand, National Covid Task Force was constantly raising their demands and suggestions from almost a month to impose nationwide strict lockdown to break the chain of the rising covid-19 cases and the deaths. But the union government was also ignorant to the suggestions of the experts. Currently, the government has no plan to tackle the third wave of corona virus despite of the fact that they know about it coming in the months of October and November of this year which shall adversely affect the kids of 0-10 years of age range. Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) has also confirmed that they have also found the new variant of covid-19 corona virus, named as ‘N440K’, popularly known as ‘AP variant’, which is 15 times more infectious than the earlier ones. Now the situation is such worse that even though the conditional lockdowns are imposed in several states, the numbers of covid-19 cases and numbers of death are exceptionally increasing.
These situations invoked the Petitioners to file the Letter Petition before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India, highlighting the issues pertaining to covid-19 corona virus across the nation with few alternatives on the current situations, and to pray for the Justice to all. It is well known that the democratic value of the nation subsist with the idea that the Judicial System creates check and balance system in between the legislature and the executive. Thus, the Petitioners believe that the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India can guide the other two organs of this democracy by considering this Letter Petition.
The Petitioners raised their utmost prayers before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India to declare ‘National Health Emergency’ across the nation and to impose nationwide strict lockdown where only the patients and their limited numbers of caretakers shall be the exceptions. They also sought to constitute a team of officials at district level headed by the Chief Ministers and Deputy Chief Ministers guided by the Prime Minister and Home Minister of India so that they can insure that during the period of nationwide lockdown, no people, especially the underprivileged and downtrodden sections of the society, is left out while providing the food, medicines and other basic necessities, with the help of the Mayor, elected Ward Councilors, and the DM of the District. Besides this, the concern has also been raised by the Petitioners to install a small unit of Oxygen Manufacturing Units (according to the size of the hospitals and the numbers of beds available for the covid-29 patients) with the help of the Army in every hospital or at the place nearby to the hospitals so that it would be easy to manufacture deliver the oxygen to the hospitals and to the persons who requires oxygen to curb out the oxygen deficit.
Another concern has been raised towards the helplessness of the patients while finding beds in the hospitals. In this regards, the Petitioners have sought that to make a central data of all the categorized beds and necessary medicines available at the hospitals and covid treatment centers. This information must be made public, through website, mobile application, and digital billboards outside the hospitals, and be frequently updated with the increase and decrease in numbers of beds, medicines and other facilities, so that the patient wisely choose to the hospital for their treatment without making any delay in their treatment.
Along with these prayers, the Petitioners also emphasized on increasing beds and paediatric wards for the kids, appointment and filling up of the vacant posts of the medical staffs including the Doctors and others in every state, implementation of the “Door to Door Vaccination Drive” and “Door to Door Blood and Plasma Collection”, to install CCTV cameras in every covid-19 hospital and covid treatment centers, to declare the correct data of the numbers of death due to the covid-19 so that the kin of the deceased must not face problem while claiming for the ex gratia and other benefits, if announced by any government in further course of time.
The Petitioners, Mr Anupam Prabhat Shrivastava and Ms Aarya Sharma, said,
“We feel indebted by the society while enjoying our rights and it is our duty to serve them back. While the government is busy in making the arrangements and finding the alternatives for this prevailing situation, while the people, especially the youth, are engaged in amplifying and arranging the requirements of the covid-19 infected patients, we cannot seat tight at this situation and see the pain by which everybody is going through. Thus, we, being the law students, feel our utmost duty to present the issues, the alternatives, and to seek for justice before the Hon’ble Supreme Court through this Letter Petition for all. We have great expectations with this Letter Petition and we hope that the Justice is timely served to all”.