ILNS: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued a Contempt notice to the official suppliers of the Delhi government supplying oxygen to various hospitals in the national capital, who did not turn up today, despite being summoned, in the issue of hospitals not getting adequate oxygen for the patients suffering from Covid-19.
The bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli directed the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) to file a report with regard to death on account of shortage of oxygen, name of patients, ward/rooms, time of death and reason in tabular form, within four days. “We have to compensate them as well,” said the Court.
Advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, said “The drug controller releases the medicine when patients are admitted and requires it and submits the requirement.”
Justice Sanghi said, “Your system has failed and because of these circulars, hoarding is happening.
Mr Mehra said, “My Lord, I can ask the drug controller to appear before you tomorrow and state reasons as to why we are following this pattern.”
Justice Sanghi said, “How is anybody able to procure large quantities. Aren’t these prescription drugs? People are uploading messages of providing these drugs?”
Advocate Ajay Kohli, appearing for Delhi Heart and Lungs Institute, said, “We have three hours oxygen left, 100 patients we have contacted nodal officer, even he is helpless.
Justice Sanghi said, “Mr Satyakam, write down the hospital name and resolve it. Where are these Cylinder distributors?”
Mr Satyakam said, “Out of five, only one is here.”
Justice Sanghi said, “Issue contempt against them. Are you aware that hoarding is going on are you aware of it Mr Arora (gas distributor)?”
Justice Rekha Palli said, “Are you complying, are you giving and providing?”
The gas distributor said, “Ma’am, there is a huge line of people in front of our office, nearly 400, demanding oxygen. We just need some security. I only want you to channelise these, so that I know who to supply. There are small hospitals with lesser number of beds.
“Then, there are always SOS situations, there has to be some information regarding small and big hospitals and their requirement,” he added.
Alok Kumar Aggarwal, representing Maharaja Agrasen Hospital in Dwarka said, “For the past seven years, we were getting supply and now, this supplier is not even supplying one cylinder, this supplier is obviously hoarding.”
Justice Sanghi said, “Where is this supplier supplying and why is he not in your list of suppliers Mr Satyakam?
Advocate Satyakam, representing the Delhi government said, “We’ll take our instructions.”
Advocate Kumar said,”Reading allocation order of April 23, 21. Chart showing the amount of oxygen we were supposed to get, they were aware prior, but we haven’t got it.
Mr Satyakam said, “My Lord they are not regular suppliers.
Justice Sanghi said, “What are you saying he is supplying to hospitals regularly and he is not regular.
Archit Arora, distributor poses a question. Mr. Seth is allocated to provide 250 cylinders, if he supplied regular supply to 100 and gets an SOS call, what should we do?
Ashok Sharma- live from hospital, talking about lack of medicine at a hospital for 140 patients.
Mehra said, “My lords we are not able to understand who is doing what?? We are in a corporative state.
Justice Palli- Mr. Mehra the moment you get the complaint you work on that. Why are you not??
Maninder Singh said, “if you wanted to stop this black marketing you could have done in one day only. We have been alloted 3.2 my and we got 1 mt, at 6 we are over.
Sanghi- you have got it and you will get it Mr Maninder. You will get your oxygen before it gets over.
Another supplier said, “Sir I have 4 hospitals (main) and other 74 hospitals, in which I have to manage anyhow.
I get 20 MT, they say give 15 MT. To main hospital and I divide somehow to other hospitals. How can I distribute it, the government says that you have to manage only.”
Mr Maninder said, “Kindly tell them to send individual order if they can’t go for the whole order of different hospitals
Justice Sanghi said, “It’s a grave misfunction on your part.
AK Sharma, representing Mahadurga Charitable Trust, said, “We have been asking for oxygen, but nodal officer is transferring our gas to other suppliers and we are not getting anything.
Principal Secretary said, “We don’t tell any supplier or direct to not give or give to a particular hospital. Whatever Tarun Seth just submitted he has given us a list and asking us whom to supply, this is wrong, he asks us every morning, he needs 30 T and we supply it every morning. We have told him to comply with hospitals.
Sanghi- you are ensuring supply to supplier but you are not looking into hospitals for supply, whose going to look into that. They are hoarding it.
Sachin Puri said, “Seth said if Mr Venkateshwar has oxygen, why isn’t he supplying it to us.
Mr Seth said, “Roz 16 T dete hain, aaj 20 T diya hai, batate nahi hai kisko kitna dena hai, bolte hain apne hisab se dedo.”
To this, the bench said, “If the supplier have stock don’t supply to them, supply directly to the Hospitals, their is no counting of the suppliers distribution. They are abusing and hoarding it.”
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Even suppliers have oxygen, but they are not giving it to hospitals, said the Court, while adding that GNCTD will inform about the stocks of oxygen held by the private suppliers tomorrow.