New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Friday gave Centre time till April 27 to file its reply in suo motu case on distribution of essential supplies and services, including oxygen and drugs, amid the massive spike in coronavirus cases across the country.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde also slammed senior advocate Dushyant Dave, who was appearing in the matter, for making remarks without reading its order and said that it has "not transferred cases to itself from High Courts".

"You have read the order. Is there any intention to transfer the case? Mr Singh listen to us. Even before reading the order, there was criticism about something which was not there in order. This is how the institution is being destroyed," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

"We never said a word and did not stop the High Courts. We asked the Centre to go to High Courts and report to them. What kind of perception are you talking about?," it added.

The bench, which also included Justices LN Rao and SR Bhat, also allowed senior advocate Harish Salve to withdraw as amicus curiae. Salve said it is a "very sensitive" matter and he did not want the case to be decided under the shadow that he knew the CJI from school and college days.

Accepting Salve's decision, the top court said it honour his sentiments, noting that it has observed "what a senior lawyer said but everyone has an opinion".

"We are also pained at reading what some senior lawyers have to say on Salve's appointment as amicus in the matter," the bench said, adding that it was a "collective decision" of all the judges at the bench.

Taking note of the "grim" situation created by the massive surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, the Supreme Court had on Thursday said it expects the Centre to come out with a "national plan" to deal with proper distribution of oxygen and essential drugs for the patients.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma