SHIMLA------Observing that the same set of guidelines cannot be there for the entire State due to variance of corona related issues in different Districts, the High Court of H.P. has directed to constitute a District Monitoring Committee for each District in the State.
The Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua passed these orders on a petition taken up suo moto by the Court as Public Interest Litigation and another writ petition highlighting the inadequate facilities in the State for treatment of Covid 19 patients.
The Court directed that the Committee shall consist of the Deputy Commissioner of each District, Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority and President of the Bar Association at the District Headquarter, and in case, the President of the District Bar Association is a senior citizen and not willing to participate in the Committee, he may nominate another person on his behalf, to do so. The Court also directed that the Deputy Commissioner shall be the Chairperson of the Committee and the meetings shall be held in his office.
The Court further directed that the Committee shall visit the towns, cities and villages in the respective Districts to ascertain the situation with regard to COVID-19 and to ascertain whether the assistance from the Government is adequate to meet the challenges thereon. The Court directed that the Committee shall also ascertain as to what is required to be done to ensure the containment of Covid-19 and to ensure preparedness for the third wave.
The Court directed that the Committee shall also visit the Primary Health Care Centers, the areas where the medical facilities are provided and it may seek the assistance of any other person in the performance of their duties and all the activities of the Committee shall be in tune with the prevalent SOPs and guidelines regarding Covid-19.
The Court further directed that the Committee shall submit a weekly report to the Registry of this Court on or before the Tuesday of every week by e-mail and the Bench would interact with the Committee on 14th July, 2021 at 2 p.m. through Video conferencing. The Court directed that the Committee can meet as many times as is required and the first meeting of the Committee shall be held on 10th July at 5 P.M.
During the course of hearing, the Advocate General apprised the Court about the various efforts made by the State in order to control the spread of Covid-19 virus. The Court observed that it is aware of the work done by the State but more is required to be done as the issues pertaining to each district varies with one another and there cannot be a same set of guidelines for the entire State and thus a local monitoring Committee would be more useful in such circumstances.
The Court directed that these corona related matters shall be taken up at 2 p.m. every Wednesday, to consider the reports that would be filed on Tuesday.
The Court posted the matter for 14th July, 2021 at 2 P.M.