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'Will ask Centre if you can't do it': HC orders Delhi Govt to take over major oxygen refilling unit

The court observed that the case involving Seth Air, the oxygen supplier accused of black marketing, reflected the Delhi government's overall mishandling of the oxygen supplies to the hospitals.

April 27, 2021 / 07:03 PM IST

The Delhi High Court expressed lack of confidence in the Arvind Kejriwal-led government while ordering it to take over a major oxygen cylinder refilling unit in the national capital. If the Delhi government is unable to manage, the court would ask the Centre to take over, the bench headed by Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli reportedly said on April 27.

The oxygen refilling plant, Seth Air, drew the court's wrath after it was accused of not supplying liquid oxygen to Maharaja Agrasen Hospital.

"It's evident that Seth Air is diverting supplies and probably selling in black market," news agency ANI quoted the bench as saying.

The HC subsequently ordered the Delhi government to take over the plant. While issuing the order, the court also rebuked the Kejriwal government.

"Get your house in order. Enough is enough. If you can't do it, tell us, we will ask central government to take over (the Seth Air plant). People are dying," Live Law quoted the court as saying.


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The take over should be completed by April 28, the bench reportedly added.

Also read: COVID-19 | Delhi government will set up 44 oxygen plants in a month: Arvind Kejriwal

The court observed that the case involving Seth Air reflected the mishandling of the oxygen supplies to the hospitals. "You have the power, take action against those engaging in black marketing of oxygen cylinders and medicines," it said - according to wire agency PTI - while pointing out that Seth Air is one of the major suppliers and holds a capacity of 20 metric tones of liquid oxygen.

"Seth appears to be a rather big supplier. He holds 20MT and he's not part of your order? There appears to be something fishy," Bar & Bench quoted the court as saying.

The HC further stated that the Delhi government needs to "pull up its socks" with respect to the distribution of not only liquid oxygen but also oxygen cylinders, ANI reported.

The bench also lashed out at the Kejriwal government for its order to assign 100 rooms at the five-star Ashoka Hospital as COVID-19 health facility for judges and judicial officers.

Reports had on April 26 claimed that the decision was taken on the request of the HC. But the court has denied making any such requests.

Such orders give an incorrect projection about judiciary, the HC said, as it ordered the Delhi government to file a response in the matter and "take corrective steps immediately".

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