THD NewsDesk, New Delhi: Supreme Court ask Government to explain the different prices of covid vaccines ahead of the Centre’s vaccination drive from May 1. Asking an explanation of the different vaccine prices for the centre and the states, the Supreme Court decided to intervene during the number of COVID-19 infected cases splurge throughout the country.
“The Union of India shall clarify in its affidavit the basis and rationale adopted in regard to the pricing of vaccines”, a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat ordered.
“The government shall explain the rationale for differential pricing in regard to vaccines sourced by the Union government on one hand and the states on the other hand when both sources lead to the distribution of vaccines to citizens”, the order said.
The court said that the government must consider a National Immunization Programme for the antiviral vaccines to include the marginalized population in the drive. Asking the Government how will the poor pay for the vaccine, the court suggested free vaccination for all the citizens.
State governments have accused Serum Institute of India (SII) and Bharat Biotech, of profiteering off the COVID-19 crises by keeping higher prices for the states while the centre is getting a dose at Rs 150.
The Court also asked the Centre to explain “how the supplies of vaccines will be allocated between various states if each state is to negotiate with vaccines producers.”
Further, it said no state should clamp down information if citizens communicate their grievances on social media. “We don’t want any clampdown of information. We will treat it as a contempt of court if such grievances are considered for action. Let a strong message go to all the states and DGP of states”, the Supreme Court said.
In the last 24 hours, more than 3.86 lakh people got infected by the coronavirus whereas 3,498 died.