New Delhi [India], May 2 (ANI): In view of the prevailing Oxygen shortage of for Covid patients, the Delhi High Court on Sunday issued a notice to the Delhi Government on an application filed by the Centre seeking to recall yesterday's High Court order.
A Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli in an urgent hearing asked Delhi Government to respond to the Centre's application seeking to recall yesterday's High Court order.
The HC on May 1 has asked Central Government to ensure that Delhi receives its allocated supply of 490 MT positively today, by whatever means and considering the fact that Delhi is not an industrial State, and does not have availability of cryogenic tankers of its own which could be requisitioned under the Disaster Management Act-like other States have done.
It falls upon the Central Government to arrange the tankers as well, so that the allocation made to Delhi could be fulfilled, lest it remains only a paper allocation. The HC had also warned the Centre that it may consider initiating contempt proceedings in case of non-compliance.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta on Sunday urged the Delhi High Court to modify yesterday's HC order at least the contempt part.
The Court said that contempt is the last thing in the mind of the Court.
Meanwhile amicus curiae Rajshekhar Rao read a 1947 letter written by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to state governments underscoring the need for "concerted efforts" and said that Centre and Delhi should be working with cooperative spirit.
He also suggested to resolve the issues between the Centre and Delhi govt on oxygen supply, without going into the legal issues.
Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi Government told the HC: Can Centre not give us the other 100 MT oxygen that Centre has allotted to Delhi? He also expressed gratefulness to the entire industry and everyone that has reached out to Delhi Government and tried to help state and said that Delhi Government is doing everything that is required.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that he acknowledges work being done by Delhi Government officers as they are also working shoulder to shoulder and the nation should be thankful to the Centre and state government officers. SG Mehta said that according to his common sense, merely 1-2 individuals doing so many things at so many levels is bad management.
SG Mehta also raised objection to the shifting of liability to the Centre and mentioned that there are many non-industrial states which are arranging tankers. SG Mehta said that systematic failure does not mean the state government has failed but the system should be working overtime in the sense that nobody is required to be woken up in the middle of the night.
During the hearing, the HC also asked the Centre that you issued a notification regarding Delhi Government is Lieutenant Governor (LG).
SG Mehta replied that is for a different purpose and he will not get into that as it will not affect responsibilities.
HC said Delhi is on a different Constitutional footing and how will Delhi Government get tankers when it is not an industrial state.
SG says it is not that oxygen is not sufficient and if oxygen supply is properly channelised and used judiciously, these last minute alarms can be avoided.
Advocate Mehra responded saying that the Delhi government is not using the oxygen, doctors are using it. "Neither me nor the Solicitor General are experts to say what doctors should do, " Mehra said.
During the hearing the Court also took note of overpricing of medicines and others things.
HC directed the State Govt to ensure that none of the medicines or equipment are sold at higher than maximum retail price and those who are violating the same should be booked and brought to the notice of this Court for action.
Mehra informed the Court about a Delhi Police tweet on a helpline to report on over pricing, black marketing etc.
The Court directed Delhi Government and police to give wide publicity to the helpline. (ANI)