New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Tuesday, while taking up the suo motu proceeding on devising national policy for COVID-19 management, clarified that it did not intend to supplant the High Courts in hearing petitions related to COVID-the 19 crisis in various states but it cannot be a mute spectator during the times of national crisis. The top court said that it will play a complementary role if the High Courts will face any difficulties in dealing with issues due to territorial issues. 

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud said high courts are in a better position to monitor the pandemic situation within their territorial boundaries. There is a need for top court's intervention on certain national issues as there might be matters related to coordination between states, it said. 

“We are playing a complementary role, if High Courts have any difficulty in dealing with issues due to territorial limitations, we will help,” said the bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat.

Last Thursday, the bench took note of the pandemic situation due to a sudden surge in COVID-19 cases as also mortality and said it expected the Centre to come out with a “national plan” to deal with the distribution of essential services and supplies, including oxygen and drugs. 

Observing that oxygen to patients infected with the virus is said to be an “essential part” of treatment, the top court had said it seemed that a certain amount of “panic” has been generated due to which people have approached several high courts seeking relief.

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan