The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Indian government to furnish all data oon its purchase history of three vaccines for coronavirus (COVID-19) three vaccines Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V.
In its order, a bench of justice DY Chandrachud, justice L Nageswara Rao and justice S Ravindra Bhat says, "The complete data on the central government’s purchase history of all the COVID-19 vaccines till date (Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V). The data should clarify, (a) the dates of all procurement orders placed by the central government for all three vaccines; (b) the quantity of vaccines ordered as on each date; and (c) the projected date of supply."
"While filing its affidavit, the union government should also ensure that copies of all the relevant documents and file notings reflecting it’s thinking and culminating in the vaccination policy are also annexed on the vaccination policy. Hence, we direct the union government to file its affidavit within two weeks," the bench says.
The apex court was hearing a suo motu case on dealing with issues relating to COVID-19 management in the country.
The Supreme Court also directed all state governments and Union Territories (UTs) to file an affidavit within two weeks, clarifying their position and put on record their individual policies.
Citing an affidavit filed on 9 May 2021, the bench pointed out the stated position of Union government that every state and UT government should provide vaccination free of cost to its population.
"It is important that individual state and UT governments confirm or deny this position before this court. Further, if they have decided to vaccinate their population for free then, as a matter of principle, it is important that this policy is annexed to their affidavit, so that the population within their territories can be assured of their right to be vaccinated for free at a state vaccination centre," the apex court says.
Further, the SC asked the Indian government to provide data on the percentage of population that has been vaccinated, with one dose and both doses, as against eligible persons in the first three phases of the vaccination drive.
"This shall include data pertaining to the percentage of rural population as well as the percentage of urban population so vaccinated," it added.
The Next hearing of this matter is scheduled on 30 June 2021.