The Supreme Court Bar Association has moved the Supreme Court against its Thursday order directing the transfer of the matters related to Covid to itself while High Courts are already hearing the matters. The decision was widely censured in the legal community.
The apex court has taken suo moto cognizance of the Covid-19 matters and sought to transfer all other related matters being heard in High Courts to it.
Through its impleadment application, the Bar Association stated that since there is absence of preparedness in advance for the present situation by the Central and state machinery, some difficulties are arising at local level and same 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 Hon’ble High Courts to continue dealing with the present issue,” said the SCBA plea.
SCBA also pointed out that the Supreme Court has consistently held that the High Courts’ powers under Article 226 of the Constitution of India is not only vast enough to cover the ambit of Article 32 thereof, rather it’s ambit travel beyond the later.
The plea stated
“Various petitions were filed before different High Courts on COVID-19 related issues and the High Courts have been issuing directions on emergent basis keeping in view the local situation within their territorial jurisdictions.
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 State machineries are lacking on various aspects and Hon’ble High Courts are suitably dealing with the issues prevailing at the local level within their territorial jurisdictions.”
Yesterday, CJI S A Bobde led the apex court bench stated that several petitions in different High Courts are leading to creating confusion and diversion of resources.
“We as a Court wish to take suo motu cognizance of certain issues. We find that there are 6 High Courts – Delhi, Bombay Sikkim, MP, Calcutta and Allahabad. They are exercising jurisdiction in best interest. But it is creating confusion and diversion of resources,” the top court noted on Thursday,” said the top court.