The Supreme Court of India has asked the central government to present its plan for ensuring adequate supply of oxygen to the national capital.
The top court was hearing a plea by the central government against the Delhi High Court order on Tuesday. The high court had issued a show cause notice to the central government asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against it for non-compliance of orders on supply of oxygen.
A two-judge bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah stayed the high court’s notice but directed the central government to submit its plan for ensuring adequate supply of oxygen to Delhi.
The central government informed the court that it is taking proactive steps and a 24*7 control room has been set up to coordinate and address the nationwide requirement of oxygen. A separate control room has been set up for Delhi, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta told the court.
The top court, however, made it clear that it cannot be denied that people are dying because of lack of oxygen and that 700 MT of oxygen as per its earlier order has to supplied for Delhi. The bench also clarified that it is not there to fault the centre or the state but there is a need for a new formula to calculate the requirement of oxygen in Delhi.
The court also noted in its order on Wednesday that the central and the Delhi government officials have agreed to meet the BMC officials in Mumbai to learn from their experience and discuss measures which can be taken to augment the oxygen supply in the capital.
In its order last week, the Supreme Court had noted that the situation on ground in Delhi is “heart rending”. The solicitor general had assured the court that the deficit of oxygen will be rectified and that the supply of oxygen will be made to Delhi based on the projected daily demand.
The court had asked the centre to ensure compliance with its order on or before May 3, 2021.
Subsequently, in a separate proceeding on Tuesday, the Delhi High Court had noted that the centre failed to ensure adequate oxygen supply to the national capital in line with what was mandated by it and therefore proceeded to issue a show cause notice. On Wednesday morning, the Solicitor General mentioned the plea in front of the Chief Justice of India. The chief justice referred the solicitor general’s plea to Justice Chandrachud’s bench.
The Supreme Court will now take up the case on Thursday.