The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Union of India (UOI) to explain the basis and rationale adopted with respect to the pricing of COVID vaccines and other necessary items.

Justice DY Chandrachud also said that the UOI shall also clarify in its affidavit the basis and rationale adopted in regard to the pricing of vaccines.

“During the national crisis, Supreme Court cannot be a mute spectator. The role of the Supreme Court is complementary in nature,” the SC said.

Each of the state governments has to file their respective replies by Thursday by 6 pm in connection with their respective states with regard to their health infrastructure (shortage of oxygen and others), the Apex Court said and fixed the matter for further hearing to Friday noon.

“The High Courts shall not be restrained in passing any directions,” as they are hearing the cases in their respective states and they know the ground situation better, the Apex Court said.

The Bharat Biotech has fixed the price of its COVID-19 vaccine, Covaxin, at Rs 600 per dose for state governments and at Rs 1,200 per dose for private hospitals.

The Serum Institute of India (SII) has announced a price of Rs 400 per dose for its COVID-19 vaccine, ‘Covishield’, for state governments and Rs 600 per dose for private hospitals.

Both vaccines are available to the Central government at a rate of Rs 150 per dose. (ANI)