New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday hit back at the Centre's stand not to interfere in the vaccine policy decision, saying it has the power to conduct judicial review. The Supreme Court closely examined the Centre's liberalized vaccination policy and directed the government to file an affidavit in this regard besides passing several guidelines. The court has asked the Centre to respond to the issues and questions raised by it.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, L Nageshwar Rao and S Ravindra Bhat said that when constitutional rights of citizens are violated by executive policies, the court cannot remain a mute spectator. Stating that the court had the power to conduct judicial review. The bench said, the court will hold discussions with the executive under the aegis of the judicial process of an open court where the justification of the existing policies will be ascertained and assessed whether they have avoided constitutional scrutiny.
The bench stressed that the courts have often reiterated the expertise of the executive in managing the public health crisis. It has also warned against arbitrary and irrational policies under the guise of broad latitude to fight the epidemic. The Supreme Court has asked the Central government to furnish full details of the vaccine procurement that has been made so far.