Don’t make us go firm by supplying 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi on a daily basis, says the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court made it clear to the Centre on Friday that it must continue to supply 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi every day until its order is amended, stating that noncompliance could force it to go firm. The top court stayed contempt proceedings brought by the Delhi High Court against central government officials for failing to comply with a directive to provide 700 MT of oxygen to COVID patients in Delhi, saying that incarcerating officers would not provide oxygen and that attempts should be made to save lives.

The Centre, however, will have to ensure a regular supply of 700 MT of liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to the national capital, according to a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and M R Shah. Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, told the bench through video conferencing on Friday that the national capital had received 86 MT today until 9 a.m. and that 16 MT was in transit.

“We need 700 MT of grain to be delivered to Delhi on a daily basis. We mean business; please don’t place us in a position where we have to be firm,” the bench said, adding that it can’t be that the supply is made for a day and then too many caveats are added, such as containers not being available and transportation difficulties. Before the hearing on Friday, Justice Chandrachud, speaking for the bench, said that he had discussed the issue with Justice Shah and that the decision to give Delhi 700 MT LMO daily was a joint one.

We’re looking for 700 (MT) of LMO to be sent to Delhi, and we’re serious about it. It must be given, and we do not want to be coerced into doing so. Our order will take some time to upload by 3 p.m., but you can go ahead and set up oxygen, according to the bench. The Supreme Court had previously stated that this is an all-India pandemic and that it would have to find ways to ensure that oxygen is delivered to the nation’s capital.

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