Srinagar, April 11 (GNS): Observing that issues pertaining to “COVID-19 Warriors” are required to be addressed on priority, the J&K High Court has directed the Principal Secretary, Social Welfare Department sought details of the mechanism put in place and action taken by the government.
“We expect to be informed about the implementation of this mechanism and instances of specific assistance rendered to dependent(s) /family members of the personnel engaged in COVID-19 issues,” observed a division bench of Justices Gita Mittal and Justice Rajnesh Oswal while hearing public interest litigations, one by its own motion.
Regarding availability of Safety Equipment to Healthcare Professionals, a report was submitted Sajad Amin Shah, Additional Secretary, Health Department, stating that adequate personal protective gears, N-95 masks, triple layer masks, hand sensitizers, gloves and other material are available to meet the requirement.
“Let the Department of Health place a report regarding procurement of more equipment as also creation of isolation wards, sample collection, processing and screening areas as per established protocols keeping in view anticipated future needs,” the court said, adding, “The Department of Health and Medical Education shall ensure that adequate equipments of every kind is available for the health care personnel and all other personnel involved in any aspect of COVID-19 issues.”
The court also sought a status report on the issue low speed internet from Secretary, Home Department of &K as well as Ladakh.
The direction was passed by the court after Amicus Curiae Monika Kohli made a vehement submission that on account of non-availability of the 4G services, the students in the Union Territories are unable to access the educational courses being sent by institutions in order to enable the students to cope with the classes which they are missing. Vishal Sharma, ASGI stated that this issue is under consideration before the Supreme Court in the PIL filed by the ‘Foundation for Media Professionals’ and notice has been issued thereon by the Court. “Let a status report on this issue be placed by the Secretary, Home Department of the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh,” the court said.
In another direction, the High Court has sought details from government regarding implications of the Darbar Move in times of the ongoing pandemic including its impact on the necessary resources at this stage, the personnel involved and financial implications besides the arrangements as regards transport, accommodation and security. Details regarding four consecutive darbar move exercises have been sought from various functionaries.
Meanwhile, the court perused April 8 report from V. K. Singh, Director General (Prisons), informing that the High Powered Committee appointed pursuant to the Supreme Court of India has conducted proceedings on the March 31 and has directed all Superintendent Jails to take action in terms thereof. “Directions have been issued to District and Sessions Judges, Districts Magistrates, SSPs as well.”
As per the report, as on 7th April 2020, 22 PSA detenues, 32 Under Trials, 9 Under Trial prisoners falling under Sections 107, 109, 151 CrPC have been released. Additionally, sanction for parole has been granted to 19 prisoners and two prisoners have been released on parole, it said, according to Global News Service. V.K. Singh has also placed before the Court details of the detenues from Jammu and Kashmir who are lodged in six jails in Uttar Pradesh and two jails of Haryana. “Reports obtained from DGs (Prisons), Uttar Pradesh and Haryana regarding steps taken for ensuring the health of the detenues and their protection from COVID-10 infection has been enclosed,” the court said, adding, “As per the reports placed before us, the health of the detenues is being monitored on daily basis and the health report of the detenues placed on record.” The court ordered that further report with regard to the release of prisoners in accordance with the directions of the High Powered Committee be placed before it before the next date of hearing. (GNS)