Gujarat HC Bench after change of judge: Don’t politicise COVID-19, highlighting flaws in State’s handling of situation only creates fear


The newly constituted Division Bench of the Gujarat High Court has said that criticism of the state government in power was not going to magically cure people of COVID-19, nor is it going to make the dead come back to life.

The Bench, which was changed soon after one of the judges made a scathing observation against the state’s BJP government over the deteriorating COVID-19 situation in Ahmedabad, said that simply ‘highlighting the flaws in the State’s handling of the situation only creates fear in the minds of people.’

“People are least concerned about political ideologies and rivalries when their lives are at stake,” Livelaw website quoted the Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice JB Pardiwala.

The High Court Bench also expressed its disappointment on ‘the unnecessary debates and comments that are going on as on date on social media and other platforms.’ It said, “We have gathered an impression that our orders passed time to time in the larger interest of the public are being misused for some oblique motive.”

The same bench earlier comprised of Justices JB Pardiwala and Justice IJ Vora when it made scathing observations on the handling of coronavirus cases, particularly at Ahmedabad’s Civil Hospital. It had termed the condition ‘pathetic’ and ‘as good as a dungeon or maybe even worse.’

The earlier bench had also slammed Health Minister Nitin Patel and Principal Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, Jayanti Ravi for poor monitoring of health care facilities. According to a report by Frontline, it had asked both of them to explain why they did not visit the hospital more often.

The Bench was later abruptly changed with Chief Justice Nath replacing Justice  IJ Vora. The decision to abruptly change the Bench had evoked angry reactions from social media users.

Gujarat has become the second worst-hit Indian state by the COVID-19 pandemic.