The SC had on May 5 lauded the efforts of Maharashtra authorities in ensuring oxygen supply to COVID patients in Mumbai and asked the Centre and the Delhi government to talk with the civic body officials of that city to learn about augmenting and managing the supply (Graphic: Moneycontrol)
The Supreme Court (SC) on May 7 directed the Centre government to provide a daily supply of 700 metric tonnes (MT) of medical oxygen to Delhi till further notice, reports have said.
During the hearing, the court also noted that the Karnataka High Court's order asking the Centre to supply 1,200 MT of oxygen to the state was "well calibrated and judicious exercise of power", PTI reported.
As the second wave of coronavirus pummels India, states have been left grappling with a shortage of oxygen, beds and life-saving medicines. Lack of medical oxygen has also led to a face-off between states and the Centre.
The Centre on May 5 moved the Supreme Court against a show-cause notice issued by the Delhi High Court over shortage of oxygen in the national capital that left patients dead in hospitals.
Appearing for the Union government, its top legal officer Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said it was unfortunate that the Delhi HC had initiated a contempt proceeding when the Centre and its officers were doing their best.
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The Supreme Court agreed to hear the Centre's plea against the personal appearance of its officials for non-compliance of the directions on oxygen supply required for COVID-19 patients in Delhi. The Chief Justice NV Ramana-led bench directed that the Centre's plea be listed before another bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud.
On May 4, the Delhi HC had asked the Centre why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against it for failing to comply with its order on the supply of oxygen.
The high court bench had rejected the Centre's submission that Delhi was not entitled to 700 metric tonnes of medical oxygen.
It ruled that the court would not take 'no' from the Centre and asked it to supply 700 MT 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 HC bench said on May 4.
A day later, the Supreme Court on May 5 also lauded the efforts of Maharashtra authorities in ensuring oxygen supply to COVID patients in Mumbai and asked the Centre and the Delhi government to talk with the civic body officials of that city to learn about augmenting and managing the supply.Follow our full COVID-19 coverage here