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“State Has Failed in Protecting Basic Right To Life Under Art. 21": Delhi High Court Remarks During Oxygen Shortage Hearing”

By Nancy Goyal      May 05, 2021      0 Comments      1,212 Views
Delhi High Court Oxygen Shortage Hearin

Recently court expressed that the state has failed to protect the fundamental right of i.e., right to life under article 21, when an advocate broke down in the court during a meeting on oxygen shortage in Delhi due to covid 19 pandemic.

The bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli of the Delhi High Court was notified about the passing away of the brother-in-law of Adv. Amit Sharma demanding help for whom he had moved before the court earlier.

The court was hearing a lot of cases on oxygen deficiency in the capital's battle against Covid-19. The court passed certain orders in the various matters such as,

Issue of 170 seized oxygen concentrators, black marketing, or hoarding.

A petition was filed by advocate Sachin Puri which states that around 170 oxygen concentrators are seized by Delhi police. In response Court directed to release those 170 oxygen concentrators as their release is necessary.

Court held that however, efforts have been for seizing oxygen cylinders, covid 19 medicines, etc. from hoarders and black marketers the seizures made must be forwarded to the Deputy Commissioner of Police for due release and/or distribution.

Establishment of WhatsApp group of different suppliers

after hearing different providers and re-fillers who imparted their issues related to the absence of oxygen to supply to hospitals, and medical clinic that common the absence of supply, the court recommended for better communication between various suppliers, re-fillers, and hospitals a common WhatsApp group should be formed.

Suspension of 'take over' request against re-filler M/s. Seth Air

The Delhi government through its counsel, Sr. Adv. Rahul Mehra informed that the re-filler M/s. Seth Air, "luckily or unluckily, appeared to have a magic wand and ensured (oxygen) supply whatever approached," thus, it had left its procedure on the Delhi government following a past request by the Delhi High Court stated to take-over of the companies' activities.

Pointing out the situation advocate Mehra asked the court to suspend its order, as it may lead to major problems related to the free flow of oxygen across the city and officials cannot handle the ground level activities. This can only be done by Mr. Seth's officials. Therefore, the court decided to suspend the order against Mr. Seth.

On another hand, Seth Air stated before the court that because of nonpayment of its dues by the Delhi government and hospitals, it had no working capital left therefore either requires interest-free loans or clearance of its dues to continue with oxygen supply.

The counsel of Seth air claimed that because of coupled of non-payments it was also confronted with huge expenses which it cannot bear. After a long conversation, it was decided that it would get supply at the lower rate, then counsel notified that he couldn’t supply as there was nothing working capital left.

The court-appointed amicus curiae for the situation, Sr. Adv. Raj Shekhar Rao, and stated that, "The National Pricing Authority has covered the cost of clinical oxygen at about Rs.15 at the producer end, and about Rs. 25 at the re-filler's end," and that "the delta sum is coming because of transport costs”.

Seth submitted upon this that "it can't absorb the delta sum as its bills aren't being cleared by hospitals."

Adv. Tyagi for Seth Air presented that as early as yesterday, it was reached by the Indian Army to supply 400 cylinders for affected Jawan’s, whom it couldn't reject, and this had majorly affected Delhi's supply. He additionally showed that the company was under pressure from different governments, including the Haryana, Delhi, and Uttar Pradesh state governments for giving supply, and said, "The circumstance on the ground is very brutal.

The court likewise asked the supplier, Air Linda, if it was possible to cover the expenses, and asked the counsel for the Delhi government, Adv. Satyakam to check both the cost and quality aspects. While the public authority guaranteed the court that it would, the supplier straight rejected, expressing that, "The third-party tankers expense is already incurred. They can pay later yet cost can't be diminished further."

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