Tribune News Service
New Delhi, April 3
The Supreme Court on Friday asked the government to take strict action against those indulging in hoarding and black marketing of essential goods, including face masks and hand sanitizers that are much in demand in view of COVID-19 pandemic.
A Bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao also asked the government to take all necessary measures to publicize the relevant notifications and steps taken to control the price of face masks and hand sanitizers.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the top court that the government was already looking into the matter and it would publish and publicize helpline numbers for the effective implementation of its notification with regard to controlling the price of masks and hand sanitizers.
Justice For Rights Foundation -- an NGO -- has moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to the authorities concerned to act against hoarding and black marketing of masks and hand sanitizers.
The petitioner requested the top court to intervene to ensure the sale of masks and sanitizers on control price as prescribed. It also
demanded free distribution of masks, sanitizers and other essential commodities to fight the pandemic.
While maintaining that several steps had been taken by the government, the petitioner said their implementation had not been timely and effective.
It said timely and effective steps were needed to control the spread of the pandemic.
The NGO urged the top court to direct the government to make public the relevant phone number where people could lodge complaints.
Police official and other authorities concerned should be advised to take immediate and strict action to stop black-marketing and hoarding of masks and sanitizers, the petitioner submitted.
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