NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday continued its hearing on the COVID situation and asked the Delhi government to cooperate with the Centre.
"Politics is for the time of elections, but now the citizens' lives are at stake," a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat observed during the hearing. The top court also praised the work done by the officials to mitigate the effects of the unfolding crisis.
"We want to send a message to the Delhi government that it must take the approach of cooperation. Please send a message to the highest level that at extreme times, there should not be any political bickering. Politics is for the time of elections. Now the citizens' lives are at stake. We want cooperation," the SC bench told Rahul Mehra representing the Delhi government. It also gave suggestions to Solicitor General Tushar Mehta.
Earlier, the bench had told the Union government that it has a "special responsibility towards Delhi" since the national capital "represents the micro problems of the country".
At the onset of the hearing, the apex court flagged the issue of threat of coercive action against people posting help calls on social media.
"We want to make it very clear that if citizens communicate their grievance on social media and Internet, it cannot be said its wrong information," the court said.
"We don't want any clampdown on information. We will treat it as a contempt of court if such grievances are considered for action. Let a strong message go to all the states and DGPs of states," the SC bench said.
Justice Chandrachud also asked if a mechanism can be developed to show real time updates regarding the allocation of oxygen.
The top court also expressed concern over the drug shortage and asked why should the court not issue directions under Section 100 and Section 92 of the Patents Act to enable generics to manufacture drugs without the fear of legal action. The apex court also expressed its reservation on the price disparity of vaccines. (IANS)
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