On Friday (September, 4, 2020), while hearing such a petition the Karnataka High Court has directed the state and the central government to answer the questions of introducing regulatory measures with regards the price of N-95 masks.
During the hearing, the Bench was informed that the price of N-95 masks ranged from Rs. 60 to Rs. 300. Even for hand sanitizers, there is a similar variation in prices, the Bench observed. The Central Government had earlier informed the Court that the rates of N-95 masks should be decided by "market dynamics". However, taking note of the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the Court remarked that the citizens at large would be the victim if the Centre continues with this stance.
In this regard, the order passed by the Division Bench consisting of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar states that "Prima facie, we are of the view that, in the present situation, it will be the responsibility of both governments to ensure that N-95 masks are easily available to the public at reasonable rates." The bench added that “the Government of India will also have to review the said aspect. And both the Government has to file their affidavit by September 23rd clearing their stand on the said aspect.