New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the central government as to why it was not making functional or upgrading its own vaccines manufacturing units, and instead procuring the vaccines from the market.

“Why don’t you make your own units functional, instead of procuring from the market,” asked the bench of Chief Justice TS Thakur, Justice R Banumathi and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit.

“That only shows that there is no will to start them. You don’t want to manufacture,” observed Chief Justice Thakur, apparently unimpressed by the reply by the government counsel.

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As counsel pointed to old technology in the government undertakings, the bench said: “If your technology is less than that of the private sector, you upgrade them. You are shutting down the government establishments and buying from private.”

It then sought presence of attorney general while adjourning the matter for further hearing when the court re-opens after Holi break.

The court’s observation came in the course of the hearing of a PIL by SP Shukla and others seeking to operationalise the vaccine manufacturing companies in the public sector.