Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

SC seeks detailed affidavits from Centre, States on steps to ensure masks, social distancing

ANI | Updated: Dec 09, 2020 14:17 IST

New Delhi [India], December 9 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered State governments and Centre to file detailed affidavits on the steps taken by them with regard to guidelines on wearing of masks and ensuring social distancing by the public.
A bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan, also directed the Centre and State governments to file detailed affidavits on fire safety in hospitals after incidents of fire in COVID-19 dedicated hospitals.
The Centre and State governments were asked to file detailed affidavits on steps taken by them with regard to the top court's December 3 order where it noted that guidelines related to wearing masks and maintaining social distancing were not being followed in almost all of the States and had sought their suggestions over the same.
The bench sought their affidavits by Friday and posted the matter for further hearing on December 14. It was hearing a suo motu case pertaining to the management of COVID-19 crisis and mishandling of corpses.
The bench also expressed displeasure at the repeated constitution of the committee to probe Rajkot fire incident at a private COVID-19 hospital in which many people lost their lives. It sought an inquiry report from the Gujarat government by Friday, asking all other states to also file reports on fire incidents.
During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appearing for the Centre said that fire in COVID-19 hospital in Rajkot is being looked at by a committee of enquiry headed by Justice DA Mehta.
To this, the bench also comprising Justice MR Shah said, "What kind of enquiry will be there by a committee who do not know about the incident in detail. You had already constituted such a committee. Now, this is the third committee headed by a retired High Court judge. Look at the attitude. Now another committee."
Mehta said Judges have been selected on the basis of availability as many head tribunals etc. He said Justice MR Shah knows judges, "he can appoint anyone to head it, we are open to it."
He also suggested that since the Ahmedabad fire incident is being looked at by Justice DA Mehta, let the Rajkot incident be also looked at by him.
"Let all the committees submit their reports and all data be compiled. Affidavit to this effect is filed in three days. Regarding Fire incident, let Justice DA Mehta committee probe both Rajkot and Ahmedabad incident which resulted in the death of several," the bench ordered. (ANI)