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'Beg, borrow, steal... human lives more important': Delhi HC slams Centre over oxygen shortage

"You (Centre) are not exploring other alternatives. You may have only found out from industries if they can provide excess oxygen they produce. You have to procure every metric tonne that is required for patients. It is your responsibility. You have to go a step further," the Delhi High Court observed.

Covid Delhi High Court slams Centre government over oxygen shortage-VPN
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New Delhi, First Published Apr 22, 2021, 9:09 AM IST
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The Delhi High Court on Thursday night came down hard upon the Centre over the shortage of oxygen in the national capital.

The High Court was hearing an urgent plea filed by Max Hospitals seeking critical replenishment of Oxygen supply to protect the lives of over 1,400 Covid patients admitted in their hospitals.

During its special late evening hearing, the high court Bench of justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli made some significant observations:

* Beg, borrow, steal, whatever you have to provide (Oxygen). You have plenary sovereign power. No industry will say no to you. You must take over.

* You (Centre) are not exploring other alternatives. You may have only found out from industries if they can provide excess oxygen they produce. You have to procure every metric tonne that is required for patients. It is your responsibility. You have to go a step further.

* We cannot see people dying because there is no oxygen. Our concern is that nothing should happen at night. In the meantime, if there are any casualties, you (the Centre) will have to take responsibility.

* Centre can arrange corridor with paramilitary forces for transport of oxygen

* Today, the situation is such that hospitals have run dry of oxygen. We know the position. This is really ridiculous. You are concerned about the industries while people die. An emergency of such a nature. That means human lives do not matter for the government.

* Centre must protect the fundamental right to life by whatever means. If necessary, the Central government should divert all the oxygen from industries for medical usage.

* Human lives are more important than commercial interests

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