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If you can’t manage, we will ask Centre to intervene: HC to Delhi govt on Covid crisis

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“Our confidence is shaken. Put you house in order,” the Delhi High Court on Tuesday told the Delhi government as it hauled it up for rampant black marketing of oxygen cylinders and essential drugs in the national capital. The court on Tuesday asked it to submit a report about the deaths which have taken place in Delhi on account of shortage of oxygen.

“Set your house in order. Enough is enough. If you cannot manage it, tell us then we will ask the central government to send their officers. We will ask them to take over. We cannot let people die like this,” the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said, as it asked the government to take over a cylinder distributor’s unit in Dwarka.

The court told the Delhi government that they are administrators and should know how to administer. “You should know what your powers are and how you have to administer,” said the court, adding, “All the government controls are actually leading to hoarding. Your system has not helped. That is very clear to us.”

It said the government was ensuring supply to the cylinder distributors but it “is not bothered about hospitals crying hoarse that ‘we are not getting two cylinders’ or the public is not able to get. You have left it to them to have a free run. They can do whatever they want to”.

During the hearing, the court was told that a vendor has 20 MTs of stock but was not supplying the cylinders to the hospitals despite contracts with them. The court said the distributor was possibly diverting them to the black marketing.

The court also pulled up BJP MP Gautam Gambhir for distributing medicines for Covid-19 patients. “Is he holding any license? Does he not require license? How is anybody able to procure large quantity of drugs,” the court asked.

Gambhir has been distributing medicines free of cost to people through his charity foundation.

Delhi High Court also issued a notice to the UT government to file a response concerning reports about the Ashoka Hotel being dedicated to the judiciary. The court says it never made any such request.

“There is lot of coverage about Ashoka Hospital. This is misleading. High Court has not made any request. We are taking cognisance of it,”

“It’s unthinkable. We as an institution won’t want any preferential treatment,” Justice Vipin Sanghi said.

The court said the only purpose of meeting was the judiciary, particularly subordinate judiciary, who have to necessarily hold courts have got infected. “It falls on us to take care of them. All our concern was they should have some facility. That has translated into this. Where is question of 100 bedded hospital for us,” the court asked.

The court said while the media was right in pointing out the issue, it said the order issued by SDM Chanakyapuri was wrong. “This order is wrong. You cannot create any exclusive facility,” the court said.

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