CJI agrees to proposal of setting up Covid centre in SC complex, Delhi govt to inspect building

CJI agrees to proposal of setting up Covid centre in SC complex, Delhi govt to inspect building

Supreme Court Bar Association to submit blueprint for converting a newly-constructed chamber block building into a Covid care centre after consultations with Delhi govt.

The Supreme Court of India | Photo: Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

The Supreme Court of India | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint

New Delhi: India’s newly appointed Chief Justice N.V. Ramana principally accepted the Supreme Court Bar Association’s request to convert a newly-constructed chamber block building into a temporary Covid care centre Monday.

CJI Ramana took the decision in a meeting with senior officer bearers of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), including president Vikas Singh, Bar Council of India (BCI) chairman Manan Kumar Mishra and Supreme Court Advocate on Record Association (SCORA) president Shivaji Jadhav

After a detailed discussion on the matter, the SCBA was asked to prepare a blueprint on the logistics of the facility — how the centre will be established, who will run it and what safeguards will be in place to ensure that biomedical waste disposal is carried out according to norms. The CJI asked SCBA to submit the blueprint as soon as possible.

SCBA secretary Aredhendumauli Prasad told ThePrint that the meeting was convened after Singh wrote a letter to the CJI, immediately after he was sworn in, Saturday.

In the letter, the SCBA president had suggested converting the chamber block, within the top court’s premises, into a make-shift Covid care centre for Supreme Court advocates, employees and their families.

“During the deliberations, SCBA’s proposal was discussed and the CJI was agreeable to the idea. However, he wants all precautionary measures to be in place since this block is in proximity to the top court’s administrative building where close to about 1,000 employees sit and their lives cannot be put to risk,” said a source from the top court’s registry.

Also read: Justice N.V. Ramana — the humble SC judge who brought CJI office under RTI Act

Delhi govt will inspect building to set up centre

The newly constructed chamber block building has 200 rooms and a hall where about 60 beds can be accommodated. The building has been vacant since its construction ended in July 2019 and the chambers are yet to be allotted to advocates.

Speaking to ThePrint, Singh said the SCBA had discussed the proposition with the Delhi government before bringing it up with CJI Ramana.

“We will now coordinate with Delhi government, which will inspect the building to prepare a plan and decide how many beds they want to set-up in the new building,” Singh said.

The make-shift centre will also have a testing facility and a vaccination centre.

Meanwhile, CJI Ramana also held deliberations on possibly advancing the summer vacation of the top court by one week in view of the Covid situation in the national capital. The CJI, however, said that a full court will take a decision on the matter.

(Edited by Rachel John)

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