Former Law Minister Ashwani Kumar urges SC to ask govt to ban super spreader events, vaccinate all age groups
Dr Ashwani Kumar, former Law Minister and Senior Advocate, has written to Chief Justice of India urging SC to take judicial notice of extraordinary threat to human lives in country from COVID
Dr Ashwani Kumar, former Law Minister and Senior Advocate, Supreme Court, has written to the Chief Justice of India urging him to take ‘judicial notice of the extraordinary threat to human lives in the country following a devastating surge in the Corona cases’. He has requested the court to issue suitable directions suo-moto in exercise of its plenary jurisdiction in pursuance of Article 21 of the Constitution.
He has suggested that the court may issue suo-moto directions to the Central and state governments to ban political rallies, protest assemblies, religious and festive congregations of more than 50 people until the situation is under control; a ban on the export of COVID vaccines; permitting import of vaccines after ensuring their efficacy to treat Corona; to make vaccines available to all age groups, and to facilitate in-situ vaccination as far as possible but especially of the old and the infirm.
He highlighted the fact that over 2 lakh cases are being reported in the country every day, and that ‘super spreader’ events such as recent Kumbh Mela at Haridwar were being held.
Dr Kumar pointed out that other such events were political rallies being held by leaders flouting COVID rules and festivals being celebrated where there have been gatherings in huge numbers, once again flouting the COVID rules.
“No purposive and effective action has been taken by the Central and state governments on a uniform basis across the country to stop such gatherings. There is laxity even in enforcing the limited restrictions announced by some of the state governments from time to time,” he wrote.
“While there may be a case against total lockdown in the country, there is absolutely no justification for permitting/condoning super spreading events that pose an unacceptable threat to human life in a negation of Article 21 of the Constitution,” he added.
“The nation expects the highest court of the country, as the designated protector of fundamental rights, to exercise its extraordinary jurisdiction in these troubled times and vindicate its role as custodian of the constitutional conscience. This court has, on several earlier and lesser occasions shown the way in non-adversarial public interest causes as the present one. Clearly, as laid down by the Hon’ble Court in several of its celebrated pronouncements, the right to life stands at the pinnacle in the hierarchy of constitutional rights,” Dr Ashwani Kumar wrote in the letter.