SCBA opposes SC’s proposed transfer of Covid matters from HCs to itself

The Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) has opposed the suo moto cognizance taken by the Supreme Court in connection with various issues of Covid-19, which are being heard by various High Courts in the country.

The SCBA, in an impleadment application, said some difficulties are arising at local level and are being resolved by various High Court in view of the local situation. “High Courts appear to be best suited to deal with the situation, hence it would be proper to allow the High Courts to continue dealing with the present issue,” the plea filed by SCBA said.

The Supreme Court on Thursday said it has registered a suo motu case concerning issues arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic and the management of the crisis unfolding in various states.

The lawyers’ body cited that the top court has consistently held that High Courts’ powers under Article 226 of the Constitution “is not only vast enough to cover the ambit of Article 32 thereof, rather its ambit travels beyond the later.”

The plea said: “In view of the present emergent situation, High Courts, situated almost invariably in the capital of the states, are in a better position to seek immediate reports from the local administration and pass directions and orders for immediate removal of difficulties arising in treatment of the infected patients depending upon local emergent situation.”

The top court had noted that six High Courts — Delhi, Bombay Sikkim, MP, Calcutta and Allahabad — were dealing with issues related with Covid management and it was creating confusion. “The High Courts have passed certain orders which may have the effect of accelerating and prioritising the services to a certain set of people and slowing down the availability of these resources to certain other groups whether the groups are local, regional or otherwise”, said the top court.

The bench also appointed senior advocate Harish Salve as amicus curiae in the matter and will continue with hearing on the matter on Friday.