Big embarrassment to Modi Government. Supreme Court forms National Task Force to handle the COVID-19 second wave crisis in India

SC order on National Task Force - Apex Court overreach or Modi Govt. ineptitude?

SC order on National Task Force - Apex Court overreach or Modi Govt. ineptitude?
SC order on National Task Force - Apex Court overreach or Modi Govt. ineptitude?

In a big embarrassment to Narendra Modi-led Government, facing brickbats in handling the COVID-19 crisis, the Supreme Court on Saturday formed a 12-member National Task Force (NTF) to address issues relating to streamlining of oxygen allocation to different states, review and suggest measures to ensure availability of essential drugs and medicines, and adopt remedial measures to ensure preparedness for future emergencies. The formation of NTF has literally taken over the existing work of Union Home and Health Ministries. Among the 12 members of the Supreme Court-appointed National Task Force, 10 are illustrious doctors of the country like Naresh Trehan, Devi Shetty. The Union Health Secretary will act as Secretary and Cabinet Secretary or an officer nominated by him will act as Convener of the NTF.

As per the Order passed by Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah, the 10 members in the NTF are:

  1. Dr Bhabatosh Biswas, Former Vice-Chancellor, West Bengal University of Health Sciences, Kolkata.
  2. Dr Devender Singh Rana, Chairperson, Board of Management, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi.
  3. Dr Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairperson and Executive Director, Narayana Healthcare, Bengaluru.
  4. Dr Gagandeep Kang, Professor, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
  5. Dr J V Peter, Director, Christian Medical College, Vellore, Tamil Nadu.
  6. Dr Naresh Trehan, Chairperson and Managing Director, Medanta Hospital and Heart Institute, Gurugram.
  7. Dr Rahul Pandit, Director, Critical Care Medicine and ICU, Fortis Hospital, Mulund (Mumbai, Maharashtra) and Kalyan (Maharashtra).
  8. Dr Saumitra Rawat, Chairman & Head, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplant, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Delhi; 5 “Task Force”.
  9. Dr Shiv Kumar Sarin, Senior Professor and Head of Department of Hepatology, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Science (ILBS), Delhi.
  10. Dr Zarir F Udwadia, Consultant Chest Physician, Hinduja Hospital, Breach Candy Hospital and Parsee General Hospital, Mumbai.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 17.

Explaining the rationale behind setting up the NTF, the Bench headed by Justice Chandrachud said that the establishment of such a Task Force will enable the decision-makers to have inputs that go beyond finding ad-hoc solutions to present problems. The order also said that Solicitor General Tushar Mehta has appraised the Supreme Court of India about the consent of the Central Government about the formation of the NTF and its members.

“Estimating projected needs is crucial to ensure that the country remains prepared to meet future eventualities, which will cause a demand for oxygen, medicines, infrastructure, manpower and logistics. The establishment of the Task Force will provide the Union Government with inputs and strategies for meeting the challenges of the pandemic on a transparent and professional basis, in the present and in future,” the order said.

Supreme Court further said that the Task Force would be at liberty to draw upon the human resources of the Union government for consultation and information, including a member of NITI Aayog to be nominated by the Vice-Chairperson; Secretaries from Ministry of Human Affairs; Industries, Transport and Highways, Director of AIIMS, Delhi, DG of ICMR, DG of Health Services, DG of NIC and Head of Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)[1].

“The concerned Secretaries would be at liberty to nominate officers of the rank of Additional/ Joint Secretary to depute on behalf of them. The Task Force is at liberty to formulate its modalities and procedure for working,” said the order of the Bench, literally taking out the powers of the Central Government led by Modi. For the past two weeks, the Central Government was facing all-out criticism from all sides due to its failure in the supply of oxygen and medicines to the states and was engaging in bitter legal battles with the states in Supreme Court and various High Courts in the country. Many observe that the entire mess was created due to too much centralization of resources and logistics by the Modi Government.

References:

[1] [BREAKING] Supreme Court sets up National Task Force to streamline oxygen allocation, ensure availability of essential drugs, medicinesMay 08, 2021, Bar and Bench

24 COMMENTS

  1. Very recently the Supreme court has come back to its former glory and the government should not interfere with its decisions.

  2. Now a days it’s irritant to seeb courts, apex or lower are Enthuastic to Over reach Elected Governments!-
    A shame to Democracy..?

  3. There are many instances when supreme Court nominated committees, this is not the first one, interpreting it as embarrassment is wrong.

  4. Not even capable of distributing O2. How can he run a government? Supreme Court has to form a 12 member task force. Unfortunately fools doesn’t not understand, still this community goes after the pathetic liar to vote him. Can’t blame him, blame ourselves. It is nothing but religion over Humanity.

  5. This is wrong message against modi… News has been altered if they appoint national task force for the good of the country… Why he got embarrassed…. It is good news.
    According Constitution all health care system is under the control of states .. Except central healthcare institutes.. States are playing bad politics especially maharastra, Kerala, panjab etc

  6. I never knew that law degree can make you more powerful than elected PM in India. A noble gentleman once told me that studying law is the last option of any intellectual family in post independent India, because this course teaches you to take sides of a lier thus acquiring bad karma.

  7. Modi needs to disband his inept PMO and take BJP political talent into confidence for better administration. The PMO is filled with sycophants and inefficient babus, who are not answerable to public. Their brief is just to praise the PM. PMO is making Modi blind to the problems faced by the country and inflating his ego by giving misleading information.

  8. Wish Supreme Court & all High Courts similarly take decisions to bring down the outsanding cases in India to Zero…….Sick justice system. What will they will do if Executive disobeys SC’s illogical decisions ?

  9. Wuhan Virus: India’s Supreme Creeps take over more Governance from a willingly abdicating Modi Sarkar. Obiter Dicta over rules Monkey Bath: But problem solving requires Administrators rather than ostensible Doctors, Judges and administrators.

  10. Since 1990 until 2013 in our country’s administrations there used to be a specified Group of Minsters (GoM) vehicle to handle emergency core issues. In this regard few days ago experienced BJP RS senior member Dr.S.Swamy who worked with four PMs suggested PM Modi to hand over PMO’s inept handling of the pandemic issue to his own efficient cabinet minister Nitin Gadkari. Since 2014 problem with Modi-Shah is that both do not like experienced seniors and educated men around them! Both are interested in self-glorification, issuing premature statement, celebration on defeating china virus and all round applause accruals to them only!

    Secondly, Supreme Court’s decision seems to have been influenced by ugly situation prevailing in Kejriwal’s pocket borough Delhi. In spite of cooperation from the GOI for a year now this nonperforming Kejriwal still protests and already spent Rs.800 Crores on ads alone to boost his own image and to keep his leftist and Lutyens cabals heavily funded to take advantages on the errors committing GOI lead by BJP’s NDA.

    Thirdly PM Modi’s own centralized power thus reducing his ministers rudderless since 2015 have had many disruptive decision makings leading to SC’s avoidable interference now in the Executive setup. GOI’s consent is the last straw on the camel’s back.

    With due respect to SC’s the NTF is bereft of Pan Indian approach. Each of the China Virus effected State or a UT is unique in genomic sequence with many strains/ mutants/variants and vaccines shortages. SC drawing help from GOI clueless comatose staff will be understood by them sooner than later. Health sector needs 6% of the GDP spends for few years to build the health care infra in every District to discourage huge migration to cities and metro cities.

    This Disaster Management Act amended from time to time is a Disaster in itself! PM Modi embarrassed himself and he alone is responsible. It is better if he changes his current adamant style of functioning. RSS should think twice the way Modi-Shah behaves in the interest of its own baby BJP!

    • Absolutely right. Modi is Nehru the XIVth unable to tolerate anybody who is better than himself in any way. His glaring inferiority complex is visible in the manner of his glorification by his sycophants and his frequent violations of Article 18 after the fashion of his fellow Gujarati Moochachi Desai.

  11. PGURUS: This STEP CAME WITHOUT ANY STUDY OF COURTS SCOPE TO INTERVENE IN A PANDEMIC IS RIGHT OR WRONG. NO DISCUSSIONS WERE TAKING PLACE AND TASK FORCE COMPRISING OF ONLY DOCTORS? WHY NO O2 MFRS OR PHARMA CEOs IN ITS TASK FORCE WHICH SHOWS SC HAS ULTERIOR MOTIVE. GIVING JUSTICE HAS BECOME SECONDARY.

    • You are right. it is in the purview of the Executive, not the judiciary. They are also not professionals in administration. It is overstepping their jurisdiction.

  12. I wonder why this should be a embarrasment for the GOI.. They have been insisting on a AUDIT on the supply of Oxygen when vested parties were for audit on allocation. Too many grey areas I assume this probably will bring out the cats among the sheep.

  13. This isn’t one of the encouraging state of affairs for the country…however in the midst of this never ending saga of mis management and adamant moves taken by GOI of late viz.the khumbmela affair and the election rallies, this move has become inevitable to curb the dictotarial decisions taken by NaMo and his men. Hope this bench will streamline the ongoing Fiasco.

    • MY GOVT ALSO SUPPLIED 2 VACCINES TO THE PEOPLE OF INDIA. HEALTH CENTRES ARE GOING ON GIVING THEM. TAKE ONE JAB & STOP ACTING LIKE EXPERT ON GOVT ADMIN.

  14. The union Government took actions on war footing. Delhi government immediately withdrew its demand for 900mt of medical O2 to 700 mt.
    The sc will itself will get exposed and will silently kill and will recommend a report to the govt that in future some procedures to be followed etc.
    The Delhi government was totally exposed in the O2 issue especially blackmarketing and hoarding of cylinders by goons AAP.

  15. Farm Protests triggered the second wave. Those who fanned them cannot escape responsibility — Trudeau, Thunberg, Jaypal, Khanna.

  16. That SC has resorted to such judicial activism and usurpation of executive power is an embarrassment for the Indian Judiciary, Democracy and Constitution. That the GOI gave consent to this, abdicating his responsibility to push back the SC, to deal with this and to inform Indians through press conferences, is an embarrassment without parallel. That the Indian Bureaucracy (Central and State) and the Hospitals cannot handle the logistics and supply of Life-Giving Oxygen is an embarrassment for the Indians and India.

  17. This is a warning to Modi’s style of administration. The Country’s highest Court is warning him for the total mess in handling Covid crisis

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