Taking suo motu cognisance of the current wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to put in place a "national plan" on issues including supply of oxygen and essential drugs for the treatment of patients infected, and method of vaccination.
The apex court's notice to the Centre comes on a day when India recorded the world's biggest spike-19 in COVID cases - 3.14 lakh infections and more than 2,104 deaths in a day.
Noting that India was currently facing a "national emergency-like situation", the SC bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said, "We want to see the national plan on this issue."
The SC bench observed that at present six high courts, including Delhi, Bombay, Sikkim, Odisha, Calcutta and Allahabad, were hearing matters related to Covid-19 preparedness. "It's creating diversion and confusion," the CJI said. It said these high courts are exercising their jurisdictions in bona fide and in the best interest.
"We wish to take suo motu cognisance of certain issues we find in six High Courts - Delhi, Bombay, Sikkim, Madhya Pradesh, Calcutta and Allahabad. Now they are exercising their jurisdiction in best interest. But what is happening is some kind of confusion and diversion of resources," the Chief Justice noted.
Meanwhile, India, on Thursday, recorded more than 3.14 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours, the highest-ever single-day count recorded in any country, taking the total tally to 1,59,30,965.