Shimla: Observing that the same set of guidelines cannot be there for the entire State due to the variance of coronavirus related issues in different Districts, the Himachal Pradesh High Court on Friday has directed the state government to constitute a District Monitoring Committee for each district in the State. 

The orders were passed by the Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Jyotsna Rewal Dua on a petition taken up by the Court as Public Interest Litigation and another writ petition highlighting the inadequate facilities in the state for the treatment of Covid-19 patients.

The Court has directed that the Committee shall consist of the Deputy Commissioner of each district, Secretary of the District Legal Services Authority and President of the Bar Association at the District Headquarter, and in case, the President of the District Bar Association is a senior citizen and not willing to participate in the Committee, he may nominate another person on his behalf, to do so.

The Court also directed that the Deputy Commissioner shall be the Chairperson of the Committee and the meetings shall be held in his office. 

The Court further directed that the Committee shall visit the towns, cities and villages in the respective districts to ascertain the situation with regard to COVID-19 and to ascertain whether the assistance from the government is adequate to meet the challenges thereon.

“The Committee shall also ascertain that what is required to be done to ensure the containment of Covid-19 and to ensure preparedness for the third wave,” said the Court.

The Court directed that the Committee shall also visit the Primary Health Care Centers, the areas where the medical facilities are provided and it may seek the assistance of any other person in the performance of their duties and all the activities of the Committee shall be in tune with the prevalent SOPs and guidelines regarding Covid-19.

The Committee has been directed to submit a weekly report to the Registry of this Court on or before Tuesday of every week by e-mail. The Bench will interact with the Committee on 14th July 14, 2021, at 2 p.m. through Video conferencing.

The Court directed that the Committee can meet as many times as is required and the first meeting of the Committee shall be held on 10th July 10 at 5 P.M.

During the course of the hearing, the Advocate General apprised the Court about the various efforts made by the State in order to control the spread of Covid-19. The Court observed that it is aware of the work done by the State but more is required to be done as the issues pertaining to each district varies with one another and there cannot be the same set of guidelines for the entire State and thus a local monitoring Committee would be more useful in such circumstances.

The Court directed that these coronavirus related matters shall be taken up at 2 p.m. every Wednesday, to consider the reports that would be filed on Tuesday. The matter has been posted for July 14, 2021, at 2 P.M.

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Navneet Rathore is a Shimla based journalist having two-years of experience in the field of journalism. Navneet is a post-graduate in Journalism and Mass Communications from Himachal Pradesh University, Shimla and is specialised in crime, education, health, environment, agriculture and Horticulture beats.