Judge Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli also rejected the Centre’s submission by Additional Solicitor Generals Chetan Sharma and Ishwarya Bhati that Delhi’s daily oxygen demand was not more than 700 metric tonnes (MT).
“We reject the submission of Mr. Sharma and Mrs. Bhati that the GNTTD is not entitled to receive 700 MT per day in view of the existing medical infrastructure. We are saddened that oxygen is not available for the treatment of covid patients in Delhi. The supply aspect should be looked at. The way it has been done by the central government. We are seeing the horrible reality every day of people who cannot secure oxygen or ICU beds, ”the bench noted.
The court observed that hospitals and nursing homes have reduced their bed capacity and are unable to serve existing capacity due to lack of oxygen.
“On the one hand, there is a need to increase capacity to meet the growing number of Covid-1 positive cases while on the other hand the existing infrastructure is deteriorating and the available capacity of beds cannot be put to good use. Not only compliance with our order … (but) also the order of the Supreme Court dated April 30, 2021, why shouldn’t contempt proceedings be initiated. ”
Piyush Goyal and Sumita Davara, two senior central government officials, were directed to be present on Wednesday.
During the hearing, the court was informed that despite the detailed order of the Supreme Court dated April 30, 2021, Delhi still did not receive 700 metric tonnes of liquid oxygen per day. Center by midnight on May 3, 2021. The court then noted the relevant parts of the Supreme Court order in its own order.
ASG Sharma had submitted that an affidavit of compliance was being filed in the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
“We have failed to understand what the compliance affidavit will do when we do not deliver 700MT to Delhi on a daily basis. In fact, the earlier allocation of 490MT, which has been revised to 590MT, has not been received for one day, ”the bench said in its order.
“In our view, this is enough to show itself that, as per the order of the SC, 700 MT should be allotted to Delhi every day and it should be given. If there is any doubt, it is cleared from the next reading of the order. “The situation should be addressed immediately. The situation on the ground in Delhi is heartbreaking,” the apex court said in its order.
“This is a matter which appears from the representations of Mr. Sharma and Mrs. Bhati, it is not present in the attention of the Central Government,” the court said. “In the same paragraph, the SC takes note of the assurance given by the SG on the instructions that the demand for oxygen will be met by the SG and that the national capital will not suffer due to lack of oxygen.”
However, it was observed that the Centre’s assurance was not met. “We see day after day how small-to-large hospitals are rushing us with SOS for oxygen supply,” the bench said.
Earlier in the hearing, the court had remarked that Central officials had been informed about the aspect of oxygen allocation to Delhi and an order had been issued. “We told your officer. Blurring is the last thing on our minds that doesn’t mean you take it lightly…… Sure, it’s there. Don’t draw us to notice … now we mean business. We are not going to take any answers. There is no question why you can’t give 700 MT right away. SC Ruhas said and we are saying. We are clarifying that. ”
When the bench was informed that an affidavit regarding oxygen supply would be filed, the court said, “We do not want the Center to hear any matter except compliance. What is the purpose of the affidavit? We want compliance. What is the use of an affidavit? ”
On the news that the Delhi government had earlier demanded M00 MT and then amended it, the court remarked, “Because they have demanded M00 MT, is that why the people of the city have to suffer?” So, is the Center messing with these little things to justify people and let people die?
“Do you live in an ivory tower? You may wish to be an ostrich in the sand, but we won’t, ‘the bench remarked.
The court also struck down the central government’s reference to the Delhi government’s statement that “with 20 MT, citizens die” which is called “rhetoric”. The bench said: “Is this just rhetoric? Isn’t that a fact? Sorry, we do not accept. We will not close our eyes. It is very unfortunate. How can you be so sensitive! Be careful when you use this language, ”the bench said.
Earlier, Delhi government’s counsel, senior advocate Rahul Mehra, had referred to the Centre’s submission in the Supreme Court on the country’s 1,2 oxygen oxygen tankers with a capacity of 12,737 metric tonnes and efforts were being made to increase the number of tankers to 5,000 by conversion. Imports of nitrogen and argon tankers and 138 cryogenic tankers.
So Mehra introduced that there was no shortage of tankers and the only issue was turnaround time. The court later asked the Center to rectify the issue of oxygen allocation with regard to tanker consolidation.
ASG Bhati said, “We will come back with clear scientific data. Specific groups are working with this mechanism. ”
The court then asked, “How many specialists are there in that group of suppliers?” ASG Sharma informed that 138 cryogenic tankers are being imported while another 50 are being manufactured.
“The point is that what you are thinking and getting is in the future… we don’t even know if it will be a week or two weeks or a month or six months … the whole nation is crying out for oxygen. Our concern is … is it done (is happening) very efficiently? The way we look at it is we don’t even know … maybe it’s happening. We’re just trying to convince you. The assumption (is) you are not involved in the business of allocating big suppliers, key players in the business … you need to go back … involve some people from IIM in some brilliant technical minds … they will be able to say what you have today The best model for how to deal with it effectively, ”the court commented.