Clampdown on citizens seeking COVID-19 help on internet amounts to contempt of court: Supreme Court tells States

The Supreme Court on Friday made it clear that there should not be any clampdown on information related to COVID-19 given by citizens on social media. “Clampdown on information is against the basic fundamental concept of freedom. Let a strong message go out to States and DGPs,” a Supreme Court Bench said.

The Bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud, L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat made the remark while hearing a suo motu case related to COVID-19 situation in the country.

The Bench noted threat of legal action against some people who made SOS appeal via social media. “There should not be any presumption that grievances raised on internet by citizens are false,” it said.

The Bench also suggested converting hostels, temples, churches and other places into COVID care centres.

It also noted the differential pricing of vaccines and medicines. Private vaccine manufacturers cannot be allowed to decide which state should get how much, the Bench observed. “Manufacturers are charging you Rs.150, Rs. 300 or Rs. 400 on States. Why should we as a nation pay this? The price difference is Rs. 30 to Rs. 40,000 crore,” it questioned the Centre.

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