Satisfied with Delhi government's steps on swine flu: High Court

New Delhi, March 25: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed satisfaction on the steps taken by the central and city governments to deal with swine flu, saying "no case of the failure of administration is made out for this court to step in".

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw while passing an order on a PIL that sought immediate steps to deal control the swine flu, said: "We are satisfied with the steps already taken and being taken by the Delhi government and central government in the matter."

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On the issue of creating public awareness on swine flu, the court said: "As far as the suggestions for public awareness are concerned, from our own experience of living in Delhi, we can record that there is no deficiency therein."

"The subject is being actively debated and discussed in all strata of the society. Already enough panic exists about the disease," it said.

The PIL sought directions to the governments to set up more laboratories in the national capital for swine flu tests at an affordable cost.

The court said it cannot pass direction on reduction of cost of tests as appropriate authorities constituted in this regard have taken care of the issue.

The bench also said that from the affidavits submitted by the governments, it is clear that sufficient steps towards research and prevention already appear to be underway.

"As far as the plea for reducing the cost of the tests is concerned, without knowing as to what are the manufacturing and marketing costs and how much is the profit element, no general direction can be given. We have no reason to disbelieve that the appropriate authorities constituted in this regard have applied themselves to the said issue as well," said court.

It also said that these are all policy and administrative matters, in which the courts ordinarily have no jurisdiction.

"The court is neither equipped to nor can itself take over the task of administering the city and dealing with problems thereof. No case of the failure of administration is made out, for this court to step in," the bench added.

The central government earlier told the court that it has been assisting the state governments affected by swine flu, by providing logistic support for drugs and masks. It has been regularly advising the state governments to deal with the viral disease, it added.

The plea had challenged "the inaction and lackadaisical and perfunctory approach of the government" in effectively dealing with swine flu.


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