New Delhi: In view of the concerns that Delhi may not have been allocated enough oxygen to battle the Covid-19 crisis that is unfolding in the national capital, the Supreme Court on Friday urged the Centre to do whatever can be done to save lives. The court also asked the AAP government to adopt a cooperative attitude in getting essential medicines and oxygen supply to patients.
“Please adopt a cooperative attitude at the time of a human crisis. A spirit of dialogue. Politics is during elections and not at the present situation,” a bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud told the Delhi government counsel.
While highlighting the importance of Delhi, the bench said: “Delhi represents the nation and there is hardly any ethnically Delhite. You have to push through since you have to save lives Mr Solicitor. You have a special responsibility as the Centre,” he remarked.
Appearing for the Centre, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Court that Delhi was given 490 MT of oxygen, although it has now demanded 700 MT. Justice Chandrachud pointed out that there is a 123% increase in demand for oxygen when it comes to Delhi.
“Delhi shows the demand had increased where there was 123 percent increase and revised need was 700 MT and then you say you allocated 490 MT? … If there is a 200 MT deficit then you should give that straight away to Delhi.
Centre has an important responsibility as far as citizens of Delhi is concerned. You have said surplus is there in the steel sector. Then use that and supply to Delhi. Between today and Monday there will be 500 deaths in our hands,” Justice Chandrachud observed.
Mehta pointed out that the Centre has to walk a tight rope when it comes to allocating resources between States. At this, the bench said. “As a national authority which has a responsibility to the national capital you are answerable to the citizens.”
“We have told the Centre how it has a special responsibility towards Delhi…but we need to send a message to the highest levels of your government that in this humanitarian crisis we don’t want lives to be lost in political bickering,” the Bench told senior advocate Rahul Mehra who represented the Delhi government.