HC asks Delhi govt to take over oxygen refilling unit with immediate effect, serves contempt notice against 5 refillers | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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HC asks Delhi govt to take over oxygen refilling unit with immediate effect, serves contempt notice against 5 refillers

By | Reported by Richa Banka | Edited by Shankhyaneel Sarkar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Apr 27, 2021 04:49 PM IST

‘Your system has failed’: Delhi High Court raps Delhi govt, asks to take action against black marketing of oxygen

The Delhi high court on Tuesday asked the Delhi government to take over an oxygen refilling plant with immediate effect and also served contempt notices to five other refillers. The court also said that if the Delhi government is unable to address the situation then it will ask officers of the central government to take over.

Delhi HC has asked the Delhi government to check black marketing and hoarding of oxygen. (Reuters)
Delhi HC has asked the Delhi government to check black marketing and hoarding of oxygen. (Reuters)

"Set your house in order. Enough is enough. If you are not able to manage then tell us we will ask the Centre to send its officers. We will ask them to take over," the court said.

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The Delhi high court told the Delhi government that its system has collapsed and strict measures should be taken to ensure that medical oxygen which comes at a minimal cost should not cost several thousand or lakhs of rupees due to black marketing or hoarding.

The court expressed its displeasure over oxygen refillers as well who were not present at the proceedings, while also expressing its displeasure towards the Delhi government for not issuing proper instructions to oxygen refillers.

"We will ask you to take action against the refillers and issue a contempt notice because they did not appear even after they were called... This cylinder business is a mess. You have to look into it and put your house in order. If they are belligerent, then they will see our belligerence. Keep them in custody if they are playing with people's life like this," it said.

The court also ordered the Delhi government to send its officers to the oxygen plants and take over the running of those plants if required. "Post your officer (over there) and let them run it. You have all the power in law to take them in custody," it said.

A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli while hearing a plea made by hospitals regarding the shortage of oxygen and drugs like Remdesivir said that the Delhi government is not able to deal with the rising cases. "Your system has failed. Black-marketing of oxygen still continues. How are people procuring oxygen? Large-scale hoarding is going and you are not taking action. Take action against them," the court told the Delhi government.

Amid the proceedings, Venkateshwara Hospital and Maharaja Agrasen Hospital said that their oxygen reserves will not last for long and will put the lives of patients in peril due to the shortage.

"This is a huge surge in cases. You are not able to deal with the numbers," the court observed.

The Delhi high court's sharp criticism comes after several hospitals reported that they were facing an oxygen shortage. The Capital has seen a large number of deaths due to lack of oxygen due to which several hospitals moved the Delhi high court.

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