Supply of Oxygen in Delhi
Following the stay order for the contempt notice issued by the Delhi High Court, the Bench consisting Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice M.R Shah, heard the Centre’s explanation and plan for the supply of oxygen in Delhi.
The Solicitor General Mr. Tushar Mehta and Additional Secretary Ms. Sumitra Dawra presented the Centre’s plan for supply, including a plan for the transportation of oxygen tanks. The Solicitor General noted that while there is sufficient supply of oxygen in Delhi, the issue of shortage is being caused by systemic failure. This included the inefficiencies in transport, such as time taken to unload large supplies. He noted that the Centre could not have predicted the degree of shortages that occurred, and was therefore unable to establish sytems that were designed to handle the crisis.
Senior Advocate Mr. Rahul Mehra noted that there are issues with the allocation of oxygen cylinders. Some states were being allocated more than their request, while other states such as Delhi were being under-supplied. He suggested that allocation be taken up by the Centre.
The amicus curiae Senior Advocates Ms. Meenakshi Arora and Mr. Jaideep Gupta noted that the plan was short-sighted and did not look at projections for the future. They said that experts and epidemiologists can be consulted to propose a projection.
The Bench highlighted certain issues as listed below:
The Bench made the following suggestions:
While the matter was scheduled to be held on 10th May, J Chandrachud tested positive for Covid. So, the case has not been taken up by his or another bench.