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Punjab and Haryana high court nod to implead Punjab, UT in plea on worsening Covid situation


The Punjab and Haryana High Court has allowed the plea to implead Chandigarh and Punjab in a petition over Covid-19 situation in the region. This was done after the Amicus Curiae appointed by the High Court suggested that there was complete chaos due to the situation arising out of spread of Covid-19.

On Tuesday, a status report by way of affidavit of Pankaj Yadav, Secretary, Home Department, Haryana, was taken on record by the division bench of Justice Rajan Gupta and Justice Karamjit Singh, which has been hearing the matter.

Senior Advocate Rupinder Khosla, who has been appointed amicus curiae in the matter, submitted that he has gone through the affidavit, but does not answer all the questions raised by court.

Khosla pointed out that there was complete chaos due to the situation arising out of spread of Covid-19. He then moved an application under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC read with Article 226 of the Constitution praying that Punjab as well as Chandigarh be impleaded as party to the present petition as spread of Covid-19 is equally grim in all three states. He emphasised on the casual attitude of the general public even at a stage when spread of Covid-19 is reaching its peak. Public places are crowded and government guidelines are not being followed, Khosla submitted before the bench.

Meanwhile, Additional Advocate General, Haryana, Ankur Mittal, apprised the court that a State Level Monitoring Committee headed by Health Minister, Haryana has been constituted to look into various issues particularly timely supply of oxygen to the hospitals. According to Mittal, daily requirement of oxygen as on date is 70/80 MT while the production in the state of Haryana is 270 MT. He submitted that he shall file a status report on the next date of hearing.

Vikas Mohan Gupta, Additional AG, Punjab, has accepted notice on behalf of the state, while Pankaj Jain, Senior Standing Counsel for UT, has accepted notice on behalf of Chandigarh. The matter has been adjourned for April 22 hearing.

The HC has been hearing a petition filed against Haryana and other respondents by Rishi, a jail inmate who had tested positive for Covid on December 27 last year. As a result, he was taken to quarantine centre in Sector 12, Panchkula. Thereafter, the petitioner did not receive attention from the medical authorities. With jail no bar for Covid infection, the bench hearing his petition had called for details regarding the availability of masks for the inmates. The petitioner was put back in jail after he recovered, but the bench made clear its intent to continue with the matter after holding that a larger question has arisen during the course of hearing.



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