A writ petition by Bombay High Court on 12 June 2020 suggesting trials on inmates of correctional homes was dismissed and held that neither the petitioner nor the Court is to suggest on whom clinical trials of probable antidote to the Coronavirus or Sars-Cov-2 Virus should be conducted.
The writ petition was heard by division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice SS Shinde in the case of coronavirus and filed by Kamaljeet Singh Sandhu who sought directions to constitute a Committee of Experts comprising doctors from all the three fields of medicine; Allopathy, AyurvedaandHomeopathy, and on the basis of the recommendations to be made by such committee, to conduct trials on Covid-19 patients to respondent authorities for correctional home.
Petitioner contended that the pandemic could be prevented by trying the combination of medicine or drug that may be suggested for correctional home by the committee and hence, precious human lives be saved.
On behalf of the StateAdvocate General AA Kumbhalkoni that a Committee was indeed formed by the State comprising of specialist doctors from the field of Ayurveda, Homeopathy and Unani and such committee having submitted its recommendations in orders dated May 13 and May 14 and the same were accepted.The guidelines to be adopted for treatment as well as preventing the spread of the pandemic have been issued on a Government Order dated June 8, 2020.
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Kumbhakoni submittedno mandamus is required to be issued in regardto conduct a clinical trial as it must be left to the decision of the experts.
A notification dated April 2, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Ayush, Government of India constituting an “Interdisciplinary Ayush Research and Development Task Force” was referred by Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, Union of India’s representative for initiating, coordinating and monitoring research development activities in the AYUSH Sector related to SARS-Cov-2 virus and the COVID-19 disease.
The Task Force is working on the terms of reference and would be coming up with a report shortly, told ASG Singh.
The petitioner submitted thatif the inmates of Correctional Homes tested positive, the medicine or drug suggested by the Committee formed by the State may be administered.
The suggestion was refused and noted by the Court that on whom clinical trials can be conducted was a state decision-
“We are afraid, the aforesaid suggestion of the Petitioner does not commend to us to be acceptable. It is neither for the Petitioner nor for the Court to suggest on whom trials should be conducted. If at all, any trial is to be conducted, the same is in the realm of a policy decision and must be left to the appropriate authority in the Government to decide on its next course of action. In regard to policy matters, unless violation of a Fundamental Right is demonstrated or an abrogation of a statutory provision is established, the Constitutional courts ought to stay at a distance is the settled law.
For the foregoing reasons, we are of the considered opinion that this PIL Petition does not warrant to be entertained; accordingly, the same stands dismissed.”
Read the Order here: