New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday (May 7) asked the Centre to keep supplying 700 MT of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to Delhi for treating COVID-19 patients on a daily basis till further orders. Headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud, an apex court bench took note of the submission of the Delhi government on deficient supply of LMO to the national capital and warned that it will pass orders against officials concerned if 700 MT of LMO is not supplied daily.
Representing the Delhi government, senior advocate Rahul Mehra mentioned before the top court the supply of oxygen received by Delhi. He also submitted before the bench that the Delhi government has received 86 MT on Friday till 9 am and 16 MT of oxygen is in transit.
Justice Chandrachud said, “We want 700 MT to be supplied to Delhi and we mean business. it has to be supplied and we don`t want to be coercive.”
The bench also emphasized that its order regarding the oxygen supply to Delhi will be uploaded later in the afternoon, but asked the Centre to proceed and arrange the oxygen supply for the national capital. Justice Shah further added that the Centre has to supply 700 MT oxygen every day till further orders.
The Centre on Thursday told the Supreme Court that being a constitutionally elected government it is acting responsibly to alleviate the suffering of people due to COVID-19 by making every possible effort to augment the supply of Oxygen.
It rebutted the Delhi government’s accusation that oxygen allocation is being done arbitrarily and favoured the creation of an effective mechanism to deal with allocation and distribution of Oxygen to the states. The apex court was told that the Delhi government has made it a “Centre versus Delhi fight”.
Earlier on May 5, the top court had stayed the contempt proceedings against the Central government officials initiated by the Delhi High Court over the issue.
In another case, wherein Karnataka HC ordered directing Centre to supply 1200MT of oxygen to the state, the Supreme Court refused to interfere, asking the Centre to increase the daily liquid medical oxygen (LMO) allocation for the state from 965 MT to 1200 MT for treating COVID-19 patients.
The bench of justices DY Chandrachud and M R Shah said that the high court order of May 5 is well-calibrated, deliberated and judicious exercise of power.
It refused to accept the Centre’s contention that if every high court starts passing orders for allocating oxygen, it will throw the supply network of the country haywire.
(With Agency Inputs)
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