On 11th May 2021, a Division Bench of Justice Ajit Kumar and Justice Siddhartha Varma, Allahabad High Court directed the State of Uttar Pradesh to set up a three-member Pandemic Public Grievance Committee in each district of the state to redress grievances of the public concerning COVID-19.
This committee should be comprised of:
[i] A Chief Judicial Magistrate or a judicial officer of similar rank to be chosen by the District Judge.
[ii] A medical college professor to be decided by the principal of the college and in case, there is no medical college, Chief Medical Superintendent has to nominate a level 3/4 doctor from the district hospital.
[iii] An administrative officer of the same rank as an Additional District Magistrate to chosen by the District Magistrate.
To determine the condition of COVID-19 in Uttar Pradesh, the court initiated suo moto proceedings and it stated that the committee should be formed within the forty-eight hours of the passing of this direction and the Chief Secretary should issue the essential effective guidelines to all District Magistrates in Uttar Pradesh. For rural areas, the court stated that a grievance can be made before the SDM of concerned Tehsil and the SDM ought to inform the grievances to Pandemic Public Grievance Committee. The High Court also stated that Pandemic Public Grievance Committee should supervise all the viral news concerning COVID issues to determine whether the news is genuine or fake.
Some news went viral of the Meerut and the Varanasi, where doctors were treating the patients rudely and one news was regarding the missing patient from the hospital and the concealment of the facts about the condition of the patient from his family members. It was stated by learned Standing Counsel, Sri Manish Goyal that District Magistrates are already verifying the credibility of viral news
Considering all the viral news stating complaints of many people about the ineffectiveness of district administration and non-cooperation of public and private hospitals concerning the availability of life-saving drugs such as Remdesivir and Tocilizumap along with the availability of oxygen, the High Court ordered to form a three-member committee in each district. The suggestion to form this committee was given by the learned Advocates appearing in this PIL that there should be a grievance cell approachable to the public at a local level.