PIL in Calcutta High Court: “State Can be Held Liable for All the COVID Deaths So Far”

A PIL filed seeks directions to the Ministry of Health to withdraw an order; which refused to provide for a research facility for a low-cost Coronavirus treatment vaccination. The said PIL stands filed in the Calcutta High Court.

Petitioner’s Contentions

The petitioner asserted that the High Court through an order dated April 8 had directed the Government; to provide for a research facility. However, on May 11, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)  refused to do so. The petition stated that ICMR stands dissolved of COVID-19 vaccine research. Notably, as a department of Biotechnology had taken the lead in this regard.

“That the acts and action of the respondent authorities are highly condemned and for the benefit and betterment of the society at large, his application for doing research along with sponsorship must be allowed forthwith.”, says the petitioner.

The petition contends that by disallowing the petitioner’s request for setting up the facility and granting sponsorship, the Government and concerned authorities therein “can be held liable for the deaths so far” and that not “even sponsoring proposals for the development of the said vaccination is highly discriminatory under Article 14 of the Constitution of India“.

Further, he states that by disallowing the petitioner to do research during this ’emergent situation’, the Government is acting as a stumbling block which is totally arbitrary.

Prayers

Full and complete disclosure of details of funds allotted, timeline, procedure and projects sponsored by the Govt. “so far for developing the COVID-19 vaccine and status of the said projects so far”.

The Court must declare the failure to disallow the research activities from taking place or non-grant of sponsorship as a ‘scam’ and ‘saddling of responsibility’ by ICMR and hold the body responsible for all deaths due to COVID-19. This is in the event ICMR fails to allow the petitioner to conduct the requisite research.