On Tuesday (4/05/2021), the Allahabad high court remarked that the Death of Covid-19 patients because of the non-supply of oxygen to hospitals is a criminal act and nothing less than genocide. It was observed by a division bench of Justice Ajit Kumar and Siddharth Verma.
The court observed the stories which went viral on social media regarding the death of covid patients due to lack of oxygen cylinders in the district of Meerut and Lucknow. The bench also observed that citizens are begging for oxygen to save the lives of their loving ones and are being harassed by the district administration and police administration.
The Court further observed that,
“The news was also seen that five patients had died in ICU of another trauma center of Medical College, Meerut on Sunday last. Similarly, the news was additionally being seen that one Sun Hospital, Gomti Nagar, Lucknow, and one more private hospital at Meerut had taken their hands off the admitted Covid patients by explaining that oxygen supply was not made even after request,"
Taking note of viral stories Court said that, news items show a quite contrary picture to one claimed by the Government regarding sufficient supply of oxygen.
The court also said that,
“We are in pain in seeing that demise of Covid patients only for non-supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than genocide by the individuals who have been entrusted the work to ensure continuous distributions and supply chain of the liquid clinical oxygen,"
It added that “How might we let our people die in this manner when science is progressed to such an extent that even heart transplantation and brain surgery are occurring nowadays”.
The Court, therefore, directed the District Magistrate, Lucknow, and District Magistrate, Meerut to enquire into the matter of such news things within 48 hours and present their reports on the next date fixed respectively.
The court stated that,
"Ordinarily, we would have not asked the State and district administration to enquire into such news that has been seen on social media however since the lawyers who were showing up in this PIL upheld such news and even presented that more or fewer circumstances in other regions of State are same, we find that it is important to direct for immediate remedial measures to be taken by the Government."
Apart from this, last month the Court was hearing a suo motu case concerning the covid 19 crisis in the state.
During the hearing, Advocate Anuj Singh was approached to dial the number of Hari Prasad Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, to know that if the information was right or wrong received by Sri Anuj Singh stayed same, Sri Anuj Singh, dialed the number over and over and the line was showing occupied, notwithstanding, at last, he had been able to connect and the answer was that there was no Level-2 and Level-3 bed accessible, though on the online portal, during the hearing of the case, was showing that there were empty places of beds in both Level-2 and Level-3 class.
The Court also observed the ideas given by the members of the Bar and coordinated Additional Advocate General, Manish Goyal, to examine the feasibility of setting up a vaccination center particularly for advocates of the Bar Association and employees of the High Court at Allahabad and Lucknow Bench.
Further, on Tuesday, the court observed the response of the state election commission after the court had, on a previous occasion, asked reasons from EC on the death of polling agents and officials because of covid 19 during panchayat election in the state.
The Court also observed that during the counting of the panchayat election, covid norms and guidelines were not followed.
It also stated that on April 17, 2021, the election commission had given an undertaking before the apex court that counting will be supervised under CCTV cameras and who oversaw the counting centers would be held answerable for any lapse concerning the compliance of Covid-19 guidelines.
Last week, the Apex court also permitted Uttar Pradesh for holding the Panchayat Election and allowed the state government to continue with their counting process.
While discarding the matter, the Supreme Court said that the parties would be at freedom to approach the Allahabad High Court in cases of issues that may emerge later. The top court has likewise "put on record the endeavor given by the State Election Commission through counsel that the CCTV recording at the counting area and centers will be done and properly preserved.
Given the same, on Tuesday, the High Court asked the state election commission to show the CCTV footage of counting area and center in form of footage print and pen drive for the districts of Lucknow, Prayagraj, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Gautam Budh Nagar, and Agra. Court also stated if they found a violation of covid norms and guidelines from CCTV footage, immediate action will be taken against EC.
The court will hear the matter on May 7, 2021