Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli also rejected the submission of the Centre, represented by additional solicitor generals Chetan Sharma and Aishwarya Bhati, that Delhi’s daily oxygen demand was not 700 metric tonnes (MT).
“We reject this submission of Mr Sharma and Ms Bhati that GNCTD is not entitled to receive 700MT per day in the light of the existing medical infrastructure. It pains us that the aspect of supply of oxygen for treatment of Covid patients in Delhi should be viewed in the way it has been done by the central government. We are seeing the grim reality every day of people not being able to secure oxygen or ICU beds,” the bench noted.
The court observed that hospitals and nursing homes had reduced their bed capacity and were not able to service the existing capacity as well due to shortage of oxygen.
“On the one hand, there is a need to augment capacities to meet the rising numbers of Covid-19 positive cases while on the other hand the existing infrastructure is crumbling and the bed capacity which is available can’t be put to good use,” said the court.
Why contempt should not be initiated: HC
We, therefore, direct the central government to show cause as to why contempt action should not be initiated for not only non-compliance of our order …(but) also of the Supreme Court order passed on April 30, 2021,” said the court. Two senior officials of the central government, Piyush Goyal and Sumita Dawra, were accordingly directed to be present on Wednesday. During the course of the hearing, the court was informed that Delhi still hadn’t received 700 MT of liquid oxygen per day in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court had in a detailed order on April 30, 2021, asked for compliance by the Centre by the midnight of May 3, 2021.