‘Must Have Ears On Ground’, SC Asks Centre To Submit Purchase History Of All COVID-19 Vaccines

‘Must Have Ears On Ground’, SC Asks Centre To Submit Purchase History Of All COVID-19 Vaccines

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The Supreme Court has asked the Centre to place on record the purchase history till date of all Covid-19 vaccines along with relevant documents and file notings reflecting its thinking culminating in the vaccination policy.

 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.

On May 31, the top court had highlighted “digital divide” between rural and urban India and posed searching queries to the Centre on mandatory registration on CoWIN for COVID jabs, vaccine procurement policy and differential pricing, saying the policy makers “must have ears on ground” to effectively deal with the “unprecedented” crisis.

Asking the Centre to “smell the coffee” and ensure that COVID-19 vaccines are available at the same price across the nation, the top court had advised the government to be flexible with its policies to deal with the “dynamic pandemic situation”. 

The top court’s order came in suo motu case on COVID-19 management.

(PTI)


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