Court sets aside order to release O2 concentrators for use by police
A Delhi court on Saturday set aside an order directing the release of 12 oxygen concentrators seized by the city police for use by police officers and judicial officers.
Setting aside the May 5 order by the Metropolitan Magistrate (MM), principal district and sessions judge Narottam Kaushal said, “The MM, in his zeal to provide life saving machines to front line workers i.e. the Delhi Police and to his judicial fraternity, was so dazzled that he forgot that a judge on account of the office he occupies has to act & behave like a self-less, dispassionate saint.”
“He has to rise above the interests of self and his ilk. Benevolent and well-intended, his act may be; the same cannot breach the Constitutional provisions of equality. On the touchstone of these morals & principles of law, MM seems to have faltered,” the judge said in his order.
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Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) V K Swami, appearing for the state, argued that “the oxygen concentrators should be released to such facilities where they could be used round the clock for those who needed it the most”.
On May 5, MM Anuj Bahal had ordered the release of 12 oxygen concentrators seized from two accused persons, Vinay Agarwal and Akash Vashist.
The court noted that the MM was greatly influenced by the fact that two judicial officers had lost their lives in battle with Covid-19. “One of them being his own brother colleague with whom he shared the corridors. As I pen down this order, the judicial fraternity has lost one more officer, who also succumbed to Covid-19 virus,” the judge noted.
The court asked the Investigating officer (IO) to move a fresh application before the District Magistrate who, according to the directions of the Delhi high court, would release the seized concentrators.