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Battling COVID-19: From Madras to Delhi to Allahabad, here’s what High Courts said on Oxygen crisis

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In a bid to streamline the distribution and strengthen the oxygen storage infrastructure in the country amid rising COVID-19 cases, high courts in the country have made some important observations.

Battling COVID-19: From Madras to Delhi to Allahabad, here’s what High Courts said on Oxygen crisis
The lack of medical oxygen is leading to a major health crisis in India and death of many COVID-19 patients.
In a bid to streamline the distribution and strengthen the oxygen storage infrastructure in the country amid rising positive cases, High Courts in the country have made some important observations.
Here are some of them:
Delhi High Court
  • The court threatened to launch contempt proceedings against the Centre for non-adhering to directions for the supply of 700MT Oxygen to the national capital
  • HC observed that the Centre can't dig its head in the sand like Ostrich. SC stayed contempt proceedings.
  • In a different case, the HC issued a notice to declare Oxygen as "Essential Goods".
  • Allahabad High Court
    • The High Court held that deaths due to lack of supply of Oxygen is a criminal act and is "no less than a genocide" by those entrusted to supply it.
    • The HC had asked districts Meerut and Lucknow of UP to verify reports of deaths caused by Oxygen shortage.
    • Uttarakhand High Court
      • The court took exception to the state sourcing Oxygen from other states with 3 Oxygen producing plants in the state. HC asked why the state could not retain its quota from the Oxygen produced, and share the excess.
      • The HC observed that the state's hands are tied.
      • Madras High Court
        • The court said that till the Task Force prescribes a formula for Oxygen allocation and supply, it is the Centre's responsibility to ensure the continuous supply of Oxygen, vaccine and drugs.
        • The Centre, state must be over-prepared for the worst (a third wave) and hope that the worst does not hit us. Can't afford to be underreported for a third wave, the court noted.
        • Karnataka High Court
          • The Karnataka High Court directed the Centre for an increase in the supply of Oxygen from 965MT to 1200MT.
          • The government challenged the HC order, however, the top court struck down the Centre's plea upholding the HC order. The Centre had claimed that the system will collapse if each HC directs for Oxygen supply in the home state.
          • Kerala High Court
            • The Kerala government had moved a request before the Centre for supply of 400MT of Oxygen as a buffer. In a special hearing, the Kerala HC directed the Centre to consider the Kerala government plea.
            • Andhra Pradesh High Court
              • The High Court has directed the Centre to consider the state government’s request for Oxygen concentrators and allocation of PSA plants for Oxygen generation.
              • The HC has also asked for a report on deaths caused due to lack of Oxygen.
              • Rajasthan High Court
                • The court has directed the Centre's high-powered committee to consider allotment of Oxygen to Rajasthan.
                • Bombay High Court
                  • The High Court observed that it’s high time that private hospitals had captive Oxygen generation facilities.
                  • The HC also noted that Maharasthra was generating 1200MY of O2 and getting only 600MT from outside. HC observed that this could be insufficient.
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