Bombay High Court Suggests Temporary Ban On Sale of Cigarettes/Bidis The High Court of Bombay (HC) in the case titled Sneha Marjadi (Petitioner) v. State of Maharashtra & Ors. (Respondents) suggested putting a temporary ban on the sale of cigarettes and bidis during the Covid-19 pandemic period considering it to be fatal for the health of citizens. The HC bench comprising of...
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Bombay High Court Suggests Temporary Ban On Sale of Cigarettes/Bidis
The High Court of Bombay (HC) in the case titled Sneha Marjadi (Petitioner) v. State of Maharashtra & Ors. (Respondents) suggested putting a temporary ban on the sale of cigarettes and bidis during the Covid-19 pandemic period considering it to be fatal for the health of citizens.
The HC bench comprising of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni stated that if the sale of cigarettes and bidis is harmful to the health of citizens then its sale should be temporarily put on halt till the pandemic gets over.
A petition was filed by Ms Sneha Marjadi, a Mumbai-based advocate. She sought details on the availability of beds in hospitals, laboratory test facilities, and procurement of Remdesivir and oxygen. She asked the HC for monitoring the situation on the procurement of Remdesivir or any other effective medical drug used to treat COVID.
The petitioner raised the concern over improper management of COVID-19 in the State of Maharashtra and emphasized that there is a severe shortage of Remdesivir drug that is essential and has caused fear and panic amongst the citizens.
The petition highlighted the point that due to shortage of the drug, the citizens have to hunt for drug not just in the same city but also in other cities.
The HC appreciated the concern of the petition and stated that such scarcity should not have happened in the nation. The Court expressed hope to cope up with the current situation very soon.
The Court's order mentioned that the patient or his relatives shall not be made to run from pillar to post to find out/locate the drug and the drug should be made available to the patients where they are being treated.
The Court issued directions to the respondents to submit the required details regarding bed management, availability of beds and it also suggested to form a web portal to ensure that patients are getting timely held and details of availability of beds in hospitality.
The HC bench noted that "The reasons for such shortage are manifold, including a shortfall in the quantity of its manufacturing, illegal hoarding, etc. There is total lack of control of the State authorities in its procurement and making the same available."
The Court further recorded that "Under misconception as to the effect and the use of this drug, a sudden steep rise in the demand for this drug has arisen."
The HC issued directions to the governments and local authorities to make sure that the patients get timely help and to ensure the availability of COVID drugs through print and electronic media to avoid a situation of panic.
The State is directed to consider granting permission to more laboratories to undertake the RT-PCR tests and Rapid Antigen Tests, which would work as per the protocol involving the ICMR and the NABL.
The Court gave the following directions to the respondents:
1. The patient or his relatives shall not be made to run from pillar to post to find out/locate the drug.
2. The drug should be made available to the concerned patient at the hospital/COVID center where he/she is being treated.
3. To ensure the availability of the drug a Nodal Agent with the helpline number with adequate staff at its disposal to undertake the supply of the drug at the required hospital/COVID center shall be appointed.
4. It would be an absolute obligation on the part of the State to keep the helpline number in operation all over the State for 24 hours.
The HC also directed the Central Government and the State Government to place on record the response and the data in regard to the victims of COVID-19 who were addicted to smoking.
The matter was adjourned till 4 May 2021.