Judge suffers Covid bite for not practicing what he preached | India News

NEW DELHI: Not practising what he preached to citizens through judicial orders extracted a heavy price from a high court Judge, who himself and family members got infected by a coronavirus.
The turn of events concerns an Orissa high court Judge, who as part of a bench had last year passed several orders directing the authorities how to enforce lockdown to minimise movement of people and prevent the rapid spread of Covid disease in the state.
In one of the orders, the bench had said, “We expect and hope that the government in its appropriate department shall bring out composite planning on availability of such essential items locally thereby requiring no use of two-wheelers (by the public to go out for the purchase of essential items) at the earliest.”
A year down the line, he forgot what he had said in his judicial orders about maintenance of social distancing and embarked on a pilgrimage with his 90-year-old mother, wife, brother and his wife in April when the exponential surge in Covid cases had begun, HC sources told TOI.
The first destination was Allahabad, where they submerged at Sangam the ashes of his father, who had died last year. From there they proceeded to Haridwar, to take a holy dip in the Ganga river during the Kumbh, where a sea of humanity participated and many blamed it as an event that fuelled the rapid spread of the Covid disease.
From Haridwar, the Judge and his family members proceeded to Gaya for certain religious rituals and then reached Puri on April 15. On returning to Cuttack, all family members tested positive for Covid. They recovered but the Judge’s old mother succumbed to the virus.
Similarly, the Supreme Court decided to step in after faulting the Centre’s oxygen allocation methodology during the second surge of Covid, when each affected state has been demanding a higher allocation. The Centre asserted that a daily oxygen supply of 500-600 MT to Delhi would be enough to meet the demand from hospitals and cited the management of a similar Covid caseload by Mumbai on April 10 with an oxygen supply of around 280MT. But, the SC asserted that Delhi should get 700 MT of O2.
The SC also thought it fit to permit the judiciary, through high courts, to manage the pan-India oxygen allocation. It gave a free hand to the HCs to determine the quantity of O2 required by the state and direct the Centre to provide the same. The case in point is the Karnataka HC order asking the Centre to supply 1200 MT of oxygen as against an allocation of 900MT.
In contrast, the SC has not been able to manage a small issue of providing seamless video-conferencing facilities for the advocates to argue before benches even though more than a year has passed since the SC started conducting its judicial business through video-conference.
The glitch-ridden system played so truantly that once Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul in a virtual hearing openly criticised the system and said if the Delhi HC could manage a better system why not the SC. But, the system remains unchanged. The advocates keep complaining about getting delinked abruptly. So much so that even the SC’s E-Committee chairman Justice D Y Chandrachud got delinked once making an advocate to innocently comment – “Justice Chandrachud has fallen off”. It created a mild panic but soon many realised that he had only “fallen off” the video link.

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