Supreme Court Justice D Y Chandrachud, heading bench hearing Covid management case, tests positive

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Updated: May 13, 2021 1:09 PM

Before Justice Chandrachud, four other judges of the court had also tested positive and have recovered.

Justice ChandrachudThe apex court said that it has deferred today's hearing scheduled on the distribution of essential supplies and services during the pandemic after Justice Chandrachud tested positive for COVID-19. (PTI)

Supreme Court Justice DY Chandrachud has tested positive for COVID-19 and is in isolation. Justice Chandrachud is heading the Supreme Court’s three-judge special bench on Covid management. The apex court said that it has deferred today’s hearing scheduled on the distribution of essential supplies and services during the pandemic. The top court in a notification issued yesterday said that the Special Bench comprising Hon’ble Dr Justice D Y Chandrachud, Hon’ble Mr Justice L Nageswara Rao and Hon’ble Mr Justice S Ravindra Bhat in Court No.5 will not sit and the matters listed before this bench stand deferred and fresh date of listing shall be notified later as one of the judges of the bench has tested positive.

The Supreme Court has been hearing cases via video conferencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Before Justice Chandrachud, four other judges of the court had also tested positive and have recovered.

Today, the bench was scheduled to take up an affidavit filed by the Centre in response to certain queries posed by it on April 30. The court has been looking into various issues including the supply of oxygen and vaccines to the states. The top court had called for revisiting the Centre’s revised vaccine procurement policy. It said that the manner in which the current policy has been framed would prima facie result in a detriment to the right to public health, which is an integral element of Article 21 of the Constitution.

The apex court had also sought the Centre’s response on the differential pricing of vaccines for states and the Central government.

The Centre had said in its reply on May 9 that its vaccination policy had been framed to ensure equitable distribution with limited availability. The government had also submitted that vaccinating the entire country was not possible in one go due to the suddenness of the second wave.

The government had asked the court not to interfere in the vaccination policy and trust the executive’s decisions. It had said that due to the sheer magnitude of the pandemic, the executive does have room for free play keeping in mind the larger public interest.

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