Rejecting a plea seeking setting up of international task force of experts to find out the extent to which the new COVID-19 virus strain was responsible for the deaths in India during the second wave, the Supreme Court today said that it does not have the jurisdiction for it and focusing on the pandemic in the country will be rather beneficial.
“We will rather focus on managing pandemic in our country than delving into conspiracy theories involving other nations, on which we don’t even have a jurisdiction,” said Justice DY Chandrachud.
The three-judge Supreme Court bench – comprising Justices Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath and Justice Hima Kohli – asked the petitioner to withdraw his plea and approach the government.
“We have no jurisdiction over Chinese or American citizens. The government is there to hear you. Plea dismissed as withdrawn,” said the top court.
Petitioner Pankaj Phadnis, Mumbai-based researcher and a trustee of Abhinav Bharat Congress, then withdrew it.
The plea had sought directions to Centre to scientifically keep track of any further mutation that may occur in future and not be caught unaware as it was when the Delta variant emerged.
“We are all forced to live under serious restrictions waiting for the next attack – the third wave. The origin of the Wuhan virus that led to the pandemic of COVID-19 is subject matter of international investigation. Origins of the Delta variant of the Wuhan virus that seems to have killed 3.9 million Indians in less than three months; are today not known. This variant first found in India is now the dominant virus strain in the world bringing opprobrium upon India in the eyes of the world,” the plea had contended.