No Commission of Inquiry for Mismanagement of COVID-19 by Union Government Says SC

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The Supreme Court received a Petition. The Petition sought setting up a commission u/s 3 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952. This was on the mismanagement related to the COVID-19 pandemic by the Government.

Facts of the Case

K.P. Fabian and other retired bureaucrats filed the Petition. The Petitioner stated that even after information about the pandemic by WHO, the government failed to prevent the spread of the virus. The main reason behind the failure was not adopting timely measures to stop the spread.  

Further, they submitted that the government failed to inform the public on methods to prevent the spread of the virus. Further, the Government did not enforce steps to control the virus. These steps include wearing masks, discouraging big gatherings, regularly sanitizing hands etc.   

Thus, the Petitioner prayed to the SC to pass directions to set up a commission under Section 3 of the Act. A retired Supreme Court Judge will head the commission. It will comprise of experts from fields of medical science, epidemiology, public health, law and social sciences. The function of the commission is to conduct an independent inquiry on these issues. 

Court’s Observations

Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat heard the matter. The Bench observed that in matters of emergency situations, the judiciary will not interfere in the decisions made by the executive.

It was further stated that the Bench will not recommend the appointment of the commission of inquiry. However, the Court may grant other reliefs on the hearing in the following week.


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