Taking note of the grim situation, Delhi High Court has issued a contempt notice to the oxygen manufacturer M/s INOX for not complying with its earlier order to supply the oxygen to Delhi. The manufacturer instead diverted its supply to Uttar Pradesh.
In the earlier order issued by Delhi High Court on April 19, INOX was directed to honor its contract by supplying 140 MT of oxygen to Delhi.
The division bench of Justice Rekha Palli and Vipin Sanghi ruled, “Since M/s INOX has not complied with our last order dated 19.04.2021, we direct issuance of Notice of Contempt to M/s INOX returnable on 22.04.2021. Notice be served through email. We direct the Managing Director/ Owner of M/s INOX to personally remain present during the hearing on the next date of hearing.”
Delhi government counsel, Senior advocate Rahul Mehra told the High Court bench that the oxygen manufacturer has not complied with the order. He also drew attention to the dearth of oxygen that National Capital has been facing and submitted that the UT required 700 MT of oxygen per day.
Replying back to Mehra’ submissions, Joint Secretary in the Union Health Ministry Nipun Vinayak said that the requirement is 220 MT oxygen only and Delhi has nonetheless been given 378 MT oxygen.
“We look at it on a daily basis. Oxygen will continue to be distributed…there may be some misuse, though it is a wrong word. Commercial packaging takes away oxygen from hospitals. Kerala, Madhya Pradesh…they are following guidelines on rational use of oxygen. If a patient has 95 oxygen, and you are giving oxygen (to make him psychologically comfortable), it will do more harm,” said Vinayak.
Senior advocate Mehra replied, “We seriously contest this…12k beds are in private hospitals. What he’s saying is that private hospitals don’t know when to administer oxygen.”
He further stated, “Inox has not sent a single MT of oxygen. We have been informed that there would be a law and order situation in UP if it is sent to Delhi. Despite an order, there is no supply…this is simply unacceptable.”
The court has directed the MD/owner of the manufacturer and Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh has also been directed to appear on the next date of hearing. The matter will now be heard on April 22.
“Implement Ban on Industrial Usage of Oxygen Immediately”
Delhi High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on the Centre government in connection to the response to the current Covid situation.
“Why have not you banned it from today? Every life is very important and valuable. Industries can wait. Patients cannot. Human lives are at stake,” the court said.
The court stated that implementing the ban immediately and any delay will lead to the loss of precious lives. The division bench questioned that will you tell the patients from today to wait for two days.
“I think the steel and petroleum industries are the real guzzlers – which is why they are producing and consuming more oxygen – because if people keep dying the way they are dying, what is the point of producing more for the economy,” Justice Sanghi asked.
The healthcare facilities seem to collapse in these hard times. The record is breaking every day with spikes in cases. The whole country is suffering from the shortage of beds, oxygen, ventilators, vaccines, and other healthcare infrastructure amid the second wave of Covid-19.