Staying contempt proceedings initiated by the Delhi High Court against the Centre over the non-supply of oxygen to the national capital, the Supreme Court on Wednesday (April 5) asked the government to ensure the supply of 700MT oxygen to Delhi. The apex court also asked the Centre to intimate it about its plans of oxygen supply by 10.30 am on Thursday.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued a show cause notice to the Centre asking it to reply why contempt proceedings shouldn’t be initiated against it for not adhering to the court order of supplying required amount of oxygen to Delhi amid the second wave of COVID-19.
“You can put your head in sand like an ostrich, we will not,” the high court had told the Centre.
The Centre on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against the high court’s order.
During the hearing of the case, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, told the bench that Delhi can manage with 500 MT of oxygen. However, Justice Chandrachud said the apex court cannot accept it as it itself had ordered the provision of 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi.
“We can’t go back on that. We are answerable to the citizens,” he said.
“Between today and Monday you need to tell us what modalities you are going to follow to reach the figure of 700 MT for Delhi,” he told the solicitor general.
Meanwhile, AAP MLA Raghav Chadha while issuing the oxygen bulletin said the national capital received 555 tonnes of oxygen on Tuesday, the highest till now as the city hospitals struggled with a shortage in the supply of the life-saving gas amid a spurt in coronavirus cases.
Talking about the high court’s rap to the Centre, he said, “Maybe because of this rap, Delhi received 555 MT of Liquid Medical Oxygen as against the requirement of 976 MT, which is the highest till now.” “However, this oxygen was not made available from regular sources but from an ad hoc arrangement. We did not receive it from our regular sources but Centre arranged it from other states and gave Delhi the oxygen that was being sent elsewhere,” Chadha claimed.
He also said the Delhi government received 48 SOS calls regarding oxygen shortage and cylinders not being refilled, and they were addressed.
“We supplied 36.40 tonnes of oxygen to address SOS calls. These hospitals had a total of 4,036 oxygen-supported beds. It means, we helped 4,036 lives,” Chadha said in an online briefing.
(With inputs from agencies)