The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered notice, returnable in three weeks, to the State government on a public interest litigation petition filed by DMK MLA Palanivel Thiagarajan seeking a direction to release on a daily basis a standardised pattern of district wise along with reconcilable State level data on COVID-19 cases from March 9.
Justices M.M. Sundresh and R. Hemalatha directed State Government Pleader V. Jayaprakash Narayanan to take notice on behalf of the government after hearing petitioner’s counsel V. Raghavachari.
Stating that all television channels keep bombarding the viewers with the statistics all the time, the judges questioned the need for the PIL.
Further, during the course of the hearing, the SGP accused the petitioner of having suppressed the fact that he belonged to the opposition party in the State.
However, the petitioner’s counsel said that his client had clearly mentioned that he was a sitting MLA representing Madurai Central constituency and hence there was no question of suppression.
The SGP also stated that the government had been issuing media bulletin on a daily basis containing elaborate details regarding the district wise as well as State wide figures of COVID-19 positive cases detected, number of patients who die due to the pandemic and the number of persons who get discharged from both government and private hospitals.
“There is absolutely no suppression of any data. This PIL petition is not maintainable at all,” the pleader contended.
However, the judges asked him to put everything in writing in the form of a counter affidavit and adjourned the hearing by three weeks.