- The apex court bench took notice of the Delhi government’s submission about the national capital’s lack of LMO supply.
- SC said if 700 MT of LMO is not provided daily, the bench will issue orders against the officials involved.
On Friday, the Supreme Court directed the Centre to keep supplying 700 metric tonnes of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to Delhi on a daily basis until further orders are issued. An apex court bench led by Justice D Y Chandrachud took note of the Delhi government’s submission about a lack of LMO supply in the national capital and cautioned that if 700 MT of LMO is not delivered daily, it would issue orders against the officials involved.
Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, who was representing the Delhi government before the Supreme Court, cited the oxygen supply received by Delhi. He also informed the court that the Delhi government received 86 MT of oxygen on Friday until 9 a.m., and that 16 MT of oxygen is in transit.
According to Justice D Y Chandrachud, “We want 700 metric tonnes (MT) to be supplied to national capital and we mean business. It has to be supplied and we don`t want to be coercive.”
The bench also stated that its order about the oxygen supply to Delhi would be uploaded later in the afternoon, but instructed the Centre to go ahead and plan for the national capital’s oxygen supply. Justice Shah went on to say that the Centre would supply 700 MT of oxygen every day until further orders.
The Centre told the Supreme Court on Thursday that as a constitutionally elected government, it is doing everything possible to relieve the misery of people affected by COVID-19 by increasing the supply of oxygen.
It refuted the Delhi government’s claim that oxygen allocation is done haphazardly and advocated for the creation of an effective system to deal with oxygen allocation and distribution to states.
The Delhi High Court’s contempt proceedings against central government officials had previously been stayed by the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court refused to intervene in another case when the Karnataka High Court ordered the Centre to supply the state with 1200 MT of oxygen, instead asked the Centre to raise daily LMO allowance for states from 965 MT to 1200 MT for COVID-19 patients.
Many hospitals in the city have posted distress messages on social media in the last two weeks, requesting urgent help.
Last week, 12 people died at Delhi’s Batra Hospital, including a doctor, after the facility ran out of oxygen.
A week before, 25 people died at the Jaipur Golden Hospital in the city due to a lack of oxygen pressure. However, the hospital later stated that an independent committee investigating the incident was unable to determine the cause of death of 21 of those patients.