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COVID-19 | Delhi High Court pulls up Centre over oxygen shortage: Key highlights

The High Court also directed the central government to show cause as to why contempt not be initiated against it for failing to comply with order on supply of oxygen to Delhi.

May 04, 2021 / 10:48 PM IST
The bench rejected the Centre's submission which said Delhi was not entitled to 700 metric tonnes of medical oxygen in light of existing medical infrastructure.

The bench rejected the Centre's submission which said Delhi was not entitled to 700 metric tonnes of medical oxygen in light of existing medical infrastructure.

The Delhi High Court on May 4 ordered the Union government to supply 700 MT oxygen daily to Delhi "right away by whatever means."

"There's SC order, now we also say the Centre will have to supply 700 MT oxygen daily to Delhi right away by whatever means," Bar and Bench quoted the Delhi High Court order.

Apart from this, the bench of justices -- comprising Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli -- directed the Centre to show cause on why contempt of court should not be initiated for non-compliance of orders, which was passed with respect to the oxygen supply in Delhi and NCR.

COVID-19 Crisis | Supreme Court comes down hard on Centre: Key highlights

"We direct the Central government to show cause why contempt action should not be taken for non-compliance of our order of May 1 and Supreme Court order," the legal website quoted the Delhi High Court order.

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Here are the key highlights of the Delhi High Court order on oxygen supply:

1) Show Cause notice:

The Delhi High Court Bench directed the Central government to show cause as to why contempt not be initiated against it for failing to comply with the order on the supply of oxygen to Delhi.

2) Rejection of Centre's submission:

The bench rejected the Centre's submission which said Delhi was not entitled to 700 metric tonnes of medical oxygen in light of existing medical infrastructure.

3) Assurances not fulfilled:

The court opined that assurances given by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to the Supreme Court that the demands of Delhi would be taken care of has not been fulfilled. "..(the) assurance has not been fulfilled as small and large nursing homes and individuals are running to us..(with SoS calls)," the bench said.

4) Supply 700MT oxygen right away:

The bench ruled that they will not take 'no' from the Centre and asked to supply 700MT oxygen. "Contempt may be the last thing but it is there. Enough is enough. We are not going to take no for an answer.. There is no way that you won't supply 700 MT right away," the legal website quoted the bench as saying.

5) Comparison with 'ostrich':

The court lambasted the Centre and compared it with ostrich for not fulfilling the required quota of oxygen to Delhi. ""Because they made a demand of 300, people should suffer? Central govt is doing to quibble about these little things and let people die?..You don't know (about the situation in Delhi)? You may put your head like an ostrich in the sand...we will not..," the bench said.

6) Notice to Centre:

The court directed two senior central government officers to be present before it on May 5 to respond to the notice.

Earlier on April 30, the Supreme Court had ordered the Central government to provide 700 MT of oxygen per day to Delhi, not just 490 MT.

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Moneycontrol News
first published: May 4, 2021 10:46 pm

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