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Delhi HC asks Bar Council to check if hospital in Dwarka could be used for Covid-hit lawyers, members

The Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was continuing its hearing on a suo motu plea regarding the shortage of beds, drugs and oxygen supply, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Several other petitions have been filed by hospitals and individuals on the same issue.

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ILNS: The Delhi High Court on Monday asked the Bar Council of India (BCI) to find out if the owners of a hospital in Dwarka, where a few beds were available, were willing to hand it over for COVID treatment. This facility might be converted for lawyers and members of the Bar Council.

The bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was continuing hearing the suo motu plea regarding the shortage of beds, drugs, and oxygen supply, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Several other petitions have been filed by hospitals and individuals on the same issue.

Justice Sanghi said: “The order of May 1 may be corrected. Hospitals of GNCTD may provide information to the Amicus on his email ID, in the format circulated by GNCTD, after consultation with the Amicus.”

Amicus Rajshekhar Rao: “If Your Lordship may clarify the order, otherwise it will put a lot of pressure on the hospitals. We don’t want to trouble them.”

Justice Sanghi: “Then you put up that format on record.”

Delhi government Senior Counsel Rahul Mehra said: “Referring to the order of May 1, regarding minimal oxygen supply, the order doesn’t include Linde. Please include.”

Advocate Rohit Priya Ranjan said: “On Saturday, our tanker has been held up by the Batra Hospital. Please direct that the tankers cannot be held up.” Justice Sanghi noted the order.

Advocate Yashvardhan S Soam, appearing for a Dwarka Hospital, said: “The owners are from Saudi Arabia and are willing to hand over the operations. We have 75 beds.”

Justice Sanghi: “Kindly take your District Magistrate to see and how we can use (the facility).”

Advocate Soam: “I wanted to submit that I have the keys (of the hospital). If they want, I can hand it over today.”

Justice Sanghi: “This is not running away. We cannot do it like this.”

There was also a suggestion to the Bench that an Advocate may be appointed for the admission of lawyers to hospitals. There were technical hitches, such as permissions to set up even a small nursing home for lawyers and their kin, but there seem to be a scope of working around it.

Mr Mehra said: “We have other priorities right now, but If Your Lordship says… We have 500+ beds and where we need to set up. This petition cannot be for 30 beds and their members.”

Justice Sanghi suggested: “In your lawyers’ community, ask them who can volunteer.”

Mr Mehra gave an idea. He talked about an “RWA scheme in Delhi, where anybody can setup 20 beds or 30 beds”.

Justice Sanghi said: “Mr Mehra, for setting up a nursing home, you would require permissions. The Bar Council may have the location inspected in furtherance of the permissions required.

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“That was when Yashvardhan S Soam suggested that it (the hospital) has six ICU beds at Dwarka, plus seven other beds. He said he was willing to work with the BCI to operate that facility and give the keys to them,” he added.

The Court then directed the BCI to check the facility with the state to make it operational. The status of this will be heard on May 6. 

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