New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) Five judges of the Supreme Court were infected by H1N1 virus causing swine flu, said the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare here on Tuesday. While three of them have resumed duties, two are recuperating and are being kept in isolation at home.
According to court sources, the two still suffering from swine flu are on the nine-judge Constitution Bench hearing the Sabarimala case. The hearing has been delayed due to the illness.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna, meanwhile, came to the court on Tuesday wearing a mask.
All judges had a meeting with Chief Justice S.A. Bobde on the implementation of remedial measures, Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said in the court on Tuesday.
It was decided that the apex court would make available vaccines for inoculation of advocates, said Justice Chandrachud. The Chief Justice suggested that lawyers as well as the bar association chief should take the initiative for preventive measures against the flu, he added.
Later, Chief Justice Bobde and Supreme Court Bar Association President Dushyant Dave had a meeting over the health emergency.
Dave said the Chief Justice was deeply worried about this and suggested setting up of a dispensary in the court premises, and immediate vaccination, which could be done on Tuesday or Wednesday.
“Since the vaccination costs Rs 1,200, I have offered Rs 10 lakh for the people, like lawyers, junior lawyers, journalists and litigants, who visit the court and may not have resources for the vaccination,” Dave told IANS.
Some foreign delegation members, who participated in a judicial conference at the apex court complex recently, were also infected by the virus, Dave said.
Meanwhile, the Health Ministry said, “A H1N1 sensitisation workshop for lawyers and other staff members will be conducted at the Bar Council of India (BCI) office on Wednesday.”
H1N1 is a seasonal infection and occurs every year with two peaks (January-March and July-September).
According to the Health Ministry, everyone should take preventive measures, like covering nose and mouth with a tissue/handkerchief while coughing or sneezing, washing hands often with soap and water, avoiding crowded places, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth, drinking enough water and sleeping well.
The Ministry has proposed preventive measures — strengthening of the first aid post (FAP) of CGHS at the Supreme Court, judges be provided treatment as per the protocol, court rooms and residences be sanitized, and awareness regarding preventive measures be disseminated.