Delhi High Court slams Narendra Modi Govt for its clumsy Covid response

Delhi High Court said ‘some people need to be charged with manslaughter’

Mahesh Anand |

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court

If the Narendra Modi regime was under the impression that its electoral might and heavy-handed governance (e.g., visitations from various law-enforcement agencies) have subdued all, it is mistaken. The blowback from the higher judiciary this week (and earlier) highlights this fact.

While the Supreme Court called the government’s Covid-19 vaccination policy for the 18-44 age group “arbitrary and irrational,” the Delhi High Court was even more acerbic in its remarks against the government over the same issue. It went to the extent of saying that “some people need to be charged with manslaughter if they have been just sitting over this untapped potential” of the vaccine manufacturers.

On the need to encourage vaccine manufacturers, the court said, “There is a lot of scope and infrastructure which is available for manufacturing of vaccines. This untapped potential has to be utilized. Your officers are not realizing this. People from abroad are coming. You have good vaccines in India. You handhold these vaccine manufacturers and take them all over India and tell them this hub is available and use this. There is an emergency.”

Urging the government to cut short the process of making more vaccines available, the Delhi HC emphasized the need to make the process of approval “short and somehow make the vaccine available.”

It pointed out that the fear of vigilance or police investigations could be hampering decision making by bureaucrats. It told the government, “You have to tell them [officers] that this is not the time to be wary of these investigations or audit reports.”

A perfectly valid point which should have occurred to the government itself. But this could have happened if the powers that be showed great interest in matters other than elections, events, and the dirty wars that the ruling party’s IT cell wages against anybody they deem hostile.

In the ultimate analysis, it is the Modi regime’s acts of omission and commission that made it hopelessly ineffective in dealing with the second wave of Covid-19. The Prime Minister’s disregard for experts, unilateralism, intolerance for criticism or even of dissent, vindictiveness, obscurantism (which also nurtures characters like Baba Ramdev), obsession with Swadeshi and socialism—all these factors were responsible for the government’s pathetic response to the second wave.

So if the higher courts are castigating the Modi government today, it has nobody to blame but itself.

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