SC directs Centre to place on record documents, file notings

New Delhi, Jun 02 (PTI): The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to place on record all relevant documents and file notings reflecting its thinking culminating in the COVID-19 vaccination policy, and the purchase history till date of all jabs including Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V.
The top court also asked the Centre to specify the steps being taken by it to ensure drug availability for mucormycosis or black fungus.
Besides, it directed all states and Union Territories within 2 weeks their stand on providing free vaccination. A special bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud, L N Rao and S Ravindra Bhat said: While filing it’s affidavit, UoI shall also ensure that copies of all the relevant documents and file notings reflecting its thinking and culminating in the vaccination policy are also annexed on the vaccination policy. “Hence, we direct the UoI to file its affidavit within 2 weeks, the bench said in its May 31 order uploaded on Wednesday on its website. The bench asked the Centre to ensure that each issue dealt by it in the order is responded to individually. The complete data on the Central Government’s purchase history of all the COVID-19 vaccines till date (Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V). The data should clarify: (a) the dates of all procurement orders placed by the Central Government for all 3 vaccines; (b) the quantity of vaccines ordered as on each date; and (c) the projected date of supply, the bench said.
The top court’s order came in suo motu case on COVID-19 management.
The bench also sought data on the percentage of population that has been vaccinated (with one, and both doses), as against eligible persons in the first three phases of the vaccination drive.
This shall include data pertaining to the percentage of rural population as well as the percentage of urban population so vaccinated, it said, adding that an outline for how and when the Central Government seeks to vaccinate the remaining population in phases 1, 2 and 3, shall also be given.
The bench noted that the Centre its May 9 affidavit stated that every state/UT shall provide vaccination free of cost to its population and said that it is important that individual governments confirm/deny this position before the apex court.
Further, if they have decided to vaccinate their population for free then, as a matter of principle, it is important that this policy is annexed to their affidavit, so that the population within their territories can be assured of their right to be vaccinated for free at a State vaccination centre.
“Hence, we direct each of the State/UT Governments to also file an affidavit within 2 weeks, where they shall clarify their position and put on record their individual policies, the bench said.
It listed the matter for further hearing on June 30.

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