The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Centre to submit complete data on its purchase history along with administration of doses of all the COVID-19 vaccines Covaxin, Covishield and Sputnik V so far.

"The data should clarify the dates of all procurement orders placed by the Central government for all three vaccines, the quantity of vaccines ordered on each date, and the projected date of supply," the Court said in its order.

The top court also directed the government to file an affidavit on COVID-19 management, data on the percentage of the population (both rural and urban) vaccinated with the number of doses administered against eligible persons in the first three phases of the vaccination drive.

"While filing its affidavit, the Union of India (UoI) shall also ensure that copies of all the relevant documents and file notings reflecting its thinking and culminating in the vaccination policy...," it added.

The data on the percentage of the population that has been vaccinated (with one dose and both doses), as against eligible persons in the first three phases of the vaccination drive. This shall include data pertaining to the percentage of the rural population as well as the percentage of the urban population so vaccinated, the Apex Court said, in its order.

The top court also passed a slew of directions in connection with the distribution of essential supplies and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The apex court three-judge bench, headed by Justice Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrahud and also comprising justices L Nageswara Rao and Shripathi Ravindra Bhat passed the order on May 31.

The Court, in its order, said, "We also note that Union of India (UoI)'s stated position in its affidavit of May 9, is that every State/Union Territory (UT) governments shall provide vaccination free of cost to its population. It is important that state/UT governments confirm or deny this position before this Court."

The Court fixed the matter for further hearing till June 30 and directed the Central government to file its affidavit within two weeks.

Further, the Court also said that if they (states/UT governments) have decided to vaccinate their population for free then, as a matter of principle, it is important that this policy is annexed to their affidavit so that the population within their territories can be assured of their right to be vaccinated for free at a state vaccination centre.

(With ANI inputs)



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