Can Imagine What Citizens Are Going Through: SC on Oxygen Crisis

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A COVID-19 positive patient on oxygen support wait for admission at Patna Medical College and Hospital, as coronavirus cases surge in countrywide, On May 4, 2021.– IANS

NEW DELHI — The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that the judges of the top court are also based in Delhi, and they can imagine what the citizens of the capital are going through due to shortage of medical oxygen.

A bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said, “We are also in Delhi. We are helpless and have been on phone.”

The bench further added, “We can imagine what citizens are going through.”

During the hearing, the top court also observed that putting officers in jail would not bring oxygen to Delhi, while it asked the Centre about the supply it has made to the capital since May 3.

The sharp observations were made by the top court while hearing Centre’s plea against the Delhi High Court order. The top court also suggested that Centre should take a cue from Mumbai municipal authority in managing oxygen supplies.

The top court noted that this is a pan-India pandemic, and it is important to find ways to ensure oxygen supply, as we are not answerable to people of Delhi.

The Centre submitted before the court that it has provided 550 MT oxygen to Delhi, but the top court reiterated that it must provide 700 MT even if it takes the point of Centre that it is way beyond the requirement of oxygen for the number of patients.

The top court emphasized that the pandemic in Delhi is at very critical stage and asked the Centre to inform by evening how 700 MT oxygen supply is maintained daily for next four days.

The bench emphasized that it would review its direction to supply 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi on Monday. It further added that for the next 4 days Centre must ensure that daily supply of 700 MT oxygen is met.

The hearing began in the afternoon on Wednesday after Centre moved the top court challenging the High Court threat to pursue contempt charges against officials for non-compliance of its earlier order. Chief Justice N.V. Ramana placed the matter before a bench of Justices Chandrachud and M.R. Shah. — IANS

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