New Delhi [India], April 22 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the Centre to implement its order strictly for allocating medical oxygen to the national capital and ensuring a safe passage to oxygen without facing any obstruction.
A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rakha Palli said that if the government wants, they can make "heaven and earth meet".
The court order came when it was informed by the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the Centre has passed an order directing that anyone obstructing Oxygen supply may face action; no restriction on oxygen supplier and oxygen-carrying vehicle, there should be free movement of oxygen-carrying vehicles.
"We direct the Central Government to peremptorily ensure strict compliance of the Allocation Order dated April 21, its own order passed on April 22 under the Disaster Management Act, and our order dated April 21," the court said.
"We also direct all the authorities concerned, who are bound by the allocation order, and the order passed under the Disaster Management Act, to ensure its strict compliance. We make it clear that non-compliance of the said orders and our order passed today will be dealt with very seriously, since non-compliance of these orders is likely to result in grave loss of life," the court said.
The Bench said that the High Court put everyone concerned to notice that non-compliance of this order would also invite action for contempt of Court and also invite criminal and penal action under the Disaster Management Act and under the Indian Penal Code.
"We direct the Central Government to ensure that the supplies from all the oxygen producing plants, as per the allocation order, is made and transportation takes place without any hindrance," the court said.
"Looking to the present emergent situation, we direct the Central Government to ensure that adequate security is provided to the lorries transporting oxygen, and there is no obstruction on the way. For this purpose, a special corridor be created for immediate transportation of the oxygen," the court said.
An official from the Ministry of Home Affairs informed the Court that the Ministry is continuously in touch with nodal officer of Delhi for a smooth supply of oxygen for hospitals.
The Court noted that non-compliance of the said order can cause a great loss of human life, and warned that non-compliance or violation of the court's order will invite criminal action.
The Court asked the central government to provide adequate security to trucks and lorries carrying oxygen cylinders and green corridors for the unobstructed supply of life-saving oxygen.
During the hearing, the Court also noted that the supply of oxygen to Delhi has been obstructed by neighbouring state's local authorities.
On this, SG Tushar Mehta has assured the court that the Central Government shall ensure supply of 480 MT of oxygen to Delhi and related order has been passed.
The Court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Rakesh Malhotra on various issues arising out of surging COVID cases in the national capital. The matter was disposed of on January 14 but after the COVID raised its ugly head once again with vengeance, the court revived this petition on Monday.
Meanwhile, various hospitals knocked door of the Court to intervene as they are running out of medical oxygen.
During the hearing senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for Delhi Government submitted that because of the court's timely intervention, many human lives were saved. (ANI)