Supreme Court on Friday made it clear that citizens who are using social media to raise their concerns and requirements should not face any backlash from the police. The court stated that it will treat this as contempt if any citizen is harassed.
“I flag this issue at the outset. It is of grave concern to me as a citizen or (a) judge. We want to make it very clear that if citizens communicate their grievance on social media and the internet then it cannot be said it’s wrong information. We don’t want any clampdown of information. We will treat this as contempt if any citizen is harassed if they want bed or oxygen. We are in a human crisis,” said Justice DY Chandrachud.
The bench also stated that the situation is grim as even doctors and healthcare workers are not getting beds.
Three judge bench also comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao and S. Ravindra Bhat was hearing the suo moto case registered in connection to the ongoing Covid19 crisis in the country.
The second wave of Covid-19 has been proving itself really lethal. The spike in Covid cases is really terrifying. On Friday morning also, India saw another record spike with 3.86 lakh Covid cases. Social media is flooded with SOS messages.
The top court stated, “There should not be any presumption that (the) grievances raised on the internet by citizens are false.”
The bench also questioned Centre about the different pricing of the vaccine. “Why is the government not buying 100 percent of doses produced in this time? Why should there be two prices for the Centre and the States… what is the rationale,” the court asked.
“The Centre has said that are leaving 50 per cent procurement to be done by states. Will this promote equity?,” Justice Chandrachud said.
The bench further stated, “Pricing issue is extraordinarily serious. 50 per cent of doses, which will be available free of charge, will be used for vaccinating frontline workers and those who above 45 years of age. Remaining doses will be used for adults who are 18 and above.”
The apex court further added, “Fifty-nine crore Indians in 18-45 age group constitute a large segment. How will the poor and marginalised people find money to get vaccinated? We cannot have this private sector model. We must follow the national immunisation model which we had followed since independence.”
The court also suggested, “Hostels, temples, mosques, and religious places of worship should be opened to tackle the Covid spike.”