Plea in SC seeking directions to utilise PM Cares Funds to procure vaccine, oxygen plants

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to utilise PM Cares Fund to procure COVID-19 vaccine, install oxygen plants and other essential equipment in district hospitals across the country amid the second wave of the pandemic.

The plea, filed by advocate Viplava Sharma, sought direction to install the procured oxygen plants/ generators and other equipment in 738 district hospitals where medical services are available free of cost for COVID-19 patients.

It also requested the Court to direct the central and state governments to ensure that all the private/ charitable hospitals within their respective jurisdiction/administration procure, install and commission facilities to provide medical oxygen to its patients.

The PIL further urged the court to direct state governments to set up electric and other crematoriums in all cities and also maintain and improve the condition of existing electric crematoriums.

The plea also urged that Members of Parliament (MPs) and Members of Legislative Assemblies (MLAs) of all the states should be directed to spend their MP/MLA funds in a disciplined manner with full transparency to best serve their respective constituency.

The petition further challenged the April 24 notification issued by the central government to the extent it capped the exemption from import duty granted to medical equipment, for a period of three months.

“Three month time period is too short a period from the standpoint of logistics involved in importing these highly sophisticated medical equipment in India by over 300 concerned notable hospitals throughout the country,” read the plea.

“The central, all states, and Union Territories (UTs) governments and other concerned agencies, to ensure all hospitals within their respective administration to be equipped with sufficient/adequate means and logistics providing medical oxygen, vaccine and medical treatment to COVID patients with judicial accountability of all concerns which is possible only by way of appropriate orders/directions by this court,” it said.

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