The rapid spread of this virus has led to the closing down of Courts and Tribunals in the country to avoid human association and to curb the spread of novel coronavirus in the country. The outbreak of COVID -19 is affecting litigation in multiple ways and has also crippled the courts across the country as judges, advocates and litigants are trying to achieve justice under the law while balancing public safety but courts are working and bringing judiciary to its best when it is required utmost. There have been instances where decision of Judiciary has been appreciated and brought justice to the democratic country like India in COVID-19 pandemic. Though the judgments on single topic came from several courts, here are the compilation of news articles giving one example of each that covered such judgments under the following broad topics:
1. Inaccurate COVID -19 vaccination figures
Around July 10, 2021, the Tripura High Court has termed as inaccurate the state government’s claim that it had covered 98 per cent of the 45-plus age group and 80 per cent of the eligible population with the first dose of the COVID -19 vaccine and directed it to issue a clarification.
When the Mission Director made these claims, the total vaccines administered were 24,26,803 of which 5,66,458 were of second dose. Total number of people vaccinated was thus 18,60,345.
Perhaps, he has taken the total doses of vaccines administered for arriving at this 80% coverage, forgetting that substantial part of it was administered to the same person as a second doze,” the court order reads.
The court also observed that 14,36,595 doses were administered to the 45-plus age group with 5,66,458 people being given the second doses. This would mean that around 9 lakh people got the first dose—which would not come up to 98 per cent of the eligible 12.36 lakh population.
A Health Department official, who wished to stay anonymous, said the state’s actual target for the 45-plus category is just under 10 lakh and not 12 lakh.
“There seems to be some miscommunication between the court and NHM office. We are sticking to our figure of 98 percent coverage in the 45-plus category. We will be submitting an affidavit soon.”
The court’s observation came in the wake of reports published in two local English newspapers on June 25 that quoted the NHM director as saying that around 80 per cent of the eligible population and 98 per cent of the 45-plus age group were vaccinated with the first dose.
2. Mismatch of information on hospital beds
Around May 6, 2021 Allahabad High Court had exposed the Uttar Pradesh administration’s claims about the reliability of its COVID information system by demonstrating a mismatch between the government helpline and online portal on the availability of hospital beds.
During a virtual hearing the bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar asked an advocate, Anuj Singh, to call up the COVID helpline number, he dialed the number and when connected reply was that there was no Level-2 (or) Level-3 bed available, whereas the online portal, during the course of hearing of the case, was showing that there were vacant positions of beds in both Level-2 and Level-3 category,” the high court observed, according to records of the proceedings.
3. Treatment Strategies
4. Oxygen Demand
5. Audit Of COVID Deaths
6. Compensation to the kin of COVID-19 deceased
7. Take charge of kids orphaned by COVID
8. Vaccine Procurement and availability
9. Differential COVID-19 vaccine pricing
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