Delhi HC to Centre : Supply 490 MT oxygen to Delhi today itself, or face action

Insight Online News

New Delhi, May 1 : The Delhi High Court on Saturday directed the Centre to supply allocated 490 Metric Tonne (MT) of Liquid Medical Oxygen to Delhi today itself, failing which it might consider contempt action against the Central Government.

The strict directions from the High Court came after Batra Hospital of Delhi filed an urgent application regarding acute shortage of medical oxygen. During the hearing, the hospital told the court that eight patients have died due to oxygen shortage, LiveLaw reported.

“We direct Centre to ensure that Delhi receives its 490MT oxygen supply today by whatever means”, a division bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli stated during the special sitting.

“Now the water has gone over our head. Enough is enough”, Justice Sanghi told Additional Solicitor General Chetan Sharma, who was appearing for the Centre.

“We are not asking for more than 490 MT. You have allocated it. Now it falls upon you to fulfill it”, the judge said.

The court said 490 MT per day of medical oxygen allocated by the Centre to Delhi remained only on paper as the national capital has not received the said allotment so far.

“It is for the Centre to arrange the tankers as well,” the Court added.

“In case of non-compliance we may consider initiating contempt proceedings”, the bench warned.

The bench also directed the Centre to ensure that the four oxygen tankers meant for Delhi, detained by Rajasthan, are released.

Delhi Government’s counsel Rahul Mehra told that major oxygen suppliers Inox and Air Lindae have “gone dry”.

When the ASG told the court that a similar matter has been taken up by the Supreme Court, the bench retorted,”Eight people have died. We can’t shut our eyes to people dying in Delhi”.

As many as eight patients in Batra hospital of Delhi died on Saturday due to a shortage of Liquid Medical Oxygen, the hospital’s managing director said.

In a video doing rounds, the Managing Director Dr SCL Gupta, can be heard saying that the hospital had alerted the Delhi government regarding it. The facility had to manage with oxygen cylinders he said, adding in the process, eight lives were lost as the supply failed to reach on time.

Dr R K Himthani, the serving gastroenterologist of the hospital, was among the dead, he said.

There is no oxygen plant in Delhi as it is an industry-free zone and completely dependent on other states and the Centre for Liquid Medical Oxygen supply.

The virulent second wave of Covid-19 has hit Delhi hard leading to a manifold increase in hospitalisation and the dearth of life-saving oxygen.

UNIINDIA

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