Moral fabric 'dismembered' to a great extent: HC on hoarding, black marketing during COVID

Like the State, the citizens too have a responsibility: HC

Moral fabric 'dismembered' to a great extent: HC on hoarding, black marketing during COVID

Image only for representational purposes.

New Delhi, May 6  

The Delhi High Court Thursday said the moral fabric of people has been "dismembered" to a great extent as instead of coming together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, they are engaging in hoarding and black marketing of oxygen cylinders, medicines and concentrators.

"We are still not understanding the gravity of the situation and that is why we are not coming together. Which is why we are seeing instances of hoarding and black marketing. Our moral fabric has been dismembered to a great extent," a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said.

The observation came in response to a suggestion by a senior lawyer that medical professionals who have retired as well as medical and nursing students can be tapped to assist in the prevailing situation when there is a shortage of personnel also not just medicines, equipment and beds. 

Senior advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan also suggested that a committee of experts in the field of health be constituted, like a public-private partnership, to assist the court.

To this, the bench said people would have to be "incentivised" in the form of some comfort or some compensation to encourage them to venture out and expose themselves to the infection daily.

Senior advocate and amicus curiae Rajshekhar Rao said having the infrastructure was not enough, we need to have personnel manning the infrastructure.

He also said that presently a handful of people were taking all the decisions and there was a need to bring in more people at the ground level so that the burden on the handful who are making decisions is eased. 

Advocate Tarun Chandhiok, who recently recovered from COVID-19 said he faced immense difficulties in getting plasma from recovered patients and urged the court to make it mandatory to donate plasma once a patient recovers.

He said that just like the State has a responsibility towards the welfare of the people, the citizens too have a responsibility.

He said that once a person recovers from COVID with the help of government machinery, they have the obligation to help others by donating their plasma.

Instead, people were charging huge amounts of money for their plasma, he told the court.

Advocate Aditya Prasad, who has also filed a plea regarding various COVID-19 issues the city is grappling with, told the bench that even obtaining plasma from a blood bank of a hospital or from the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) is a cumbersome and time-consuming process. PTI 

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