Bombay High Court junks plea seeking COVID-19 medical trials on jail inmates

It was neither for the petitioner nor for the court to suggest on whom trials be conducted, the court said.

Published: 13th June 2020 07:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 13th June 2020 07:29 PM   |  A+A-

Bombay High Court

Bombay High Court (File Photo | PTI)


MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has refused to pass an order directing the government to conduct trials of possible COVID-19 drugs or treatment on inmates of jails or correctional homes who have contracted coronavirus.

On whom medical trials should be conducted is a matter of government policy and the court would not interfere in that, said a division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice S S Shinde on Friday.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Kamaljeet Sandhu, seeking a direction to the Union and state governments to constitute a committee of expert allopathy, Ayurveda and homeopathy doctors.

Based on the recommendations of the committee, trials of possible courses of treatment should be conducted on COVID-19 patients, particularly the inmates of correctional homes and jails who have tested positive for virus, it said.

The high court in its order said that the "suggestion of the petitioner does not commend to us to be acceptable".

It was neither for the petitioner nor for the court to suggest on whom trials be conducted, the court said.

"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," it added.

Courts should keep away from policy matters unless there is a violation of fundamental rights, the judges said.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, appearing for the Maharashtra government, told the court that a committee of doctors from the fields of Ayurveda, homeopathy and Unani medicine had given certain recommendations which have been accepted.

"On June 8, a government order has been issued detailing the guidelines to be adopted for treatment as well as for preventing the spread of the pandemic," he said.

The court then dismissed the petition.

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