Jammu & Kashmir

2 weeks on, JK High Court yet to list ‘urgent’ petition seeking details on COVID preparedness

Srinagar: As Jammu and Kashmir continues to witness a steep rise in COVD cases, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in JK High Court seeking the Court’s intervention in ‘monitoring the preparedness of the Administration’ vis-a-vis the second wave of COVID in the UT.

However, according to the petitioner, Farhana Latief, “even after two weeks of inordinate delay, the court is yet to decide on listing the petition despite 3 urgency memos that were filed and its mention in the court of CJI including today.”

Farhana, who filed the petition through lawyers Habeel Iqbal, Saqib Amin and Syed Mohtasim said that the points mentioned in the petition pertain to “how the administration augmented infrastructure since last year, the level of preparedness in primary and secondary healthcare outside of Srinagar, level of preparedness in tertiary healthcare, the demand of strict quarantine regime for travelers from India and regulation of social and religious gatherings in consultation with relevant stakeholders.”

“Now apart from the last point, everything is rendered obsolete, because the crisis is right on our heads and the court has already delayed the listing for 2 weeks. Despite the fact that there was a 700% surge in cases, the court refused to list the case,” Farhana said, “adding there is less scope for seeking accountability from the state now.”

According to the petitioner, a PIL on vaccination of prisoners was also disposed off last week in the very first hearing, and no effective order was passed and there is no information from the concerned departments on the COVID situation in the jails where a huge number of prisoners, mostly under-trials is lodged.

“Jammu and Kashmir has seen 700% surge in COVID cases, and yet the court refused to list the case on an urgent basis. It was important to bring to the notice of the court that the increase in cases is disproportionate to the population and the healthcare infrastructure available in the region,” said the petitioner.

The delay in the court hearing is happening, when other High Courts across India have taken suo moto cognisance of the COVID situation and are coming down heavily on the respective governments.

“Despite the orders, we are waiting for two weeks now for the petition getting listed,” she said, adding people across the world depend on the judiciary for holding the governments accountable but unfortunately our case seems to be other way round.


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