“Where is the oxygen, medicines, infrastructure?” Delhi HC to Delhi govt

ILNS: Lawyers have moved a PIL in the Delhi High Court that some kind of assistance should be given to judicial officers for their coronavirus treatment as they are also frontline workers. The officers or court staff, who are appointed as nodal officers to assist the authorities and hospitals to implement court orders, also fall ill with the disease but are not getting beds.

The petition filed before the bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rekha Palli suggested that centres for the treatment of judicial officers maybe set up in residential colonies. A nodal officer maybe appointed at each district court to help them get beds and other needful things.

The bench, which is hearing all matters related to the pandemic, said residential colonies so far as it is a spread zone, is fine but otherwise it would be difficult.

Advocate Sanjoy Ghosh suggested that court complexes are also not in use, and Covid care centers can be set up there as well and a coordination mechanism may be brought in place, judicial officers are also frontline workers, he emphasized. Justice Sanghi directed the Delhi government to file its response on this.

Justice Sanghi directed all district and session judges of various courts in Delhi to provide care to judicial officers in need of medical facilities. The court also directed the judicial officers to identify places to establish Covid care centers.

Senior Advocate G. Tushar Rao told the court, “I just got a panic call from a hospital there is a shortage of oxygen.”

Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi Government, said, “Sorry this is just impossible, if it goes on like this, then there will be a law and order problem.”

Advocate Rajshekhar Rao, the amicus appointed by the court, said, “We have been getting calls during lunch hours there are organizations providing home care, but there is a shortage of oxygen. This would be putting pressure on hospitals.”

Justice Sanghi asked, “Mr. Mehra, (do) you have anything to say on this?” To this, Rahul Mehra said, “Every hospital in the Capital is attached to a refiller because of which there is no liberty, and zero flexibility is there with the refillers. The basic issue will again be where to get oxygen, Mehra said.”

He suggested that two separate lines can be made. One for entry and one for the exit, that will be one for the hospital and another for individuals, and we can at the district level, set up a center, but then there again will be the problem of where to get oxygen from, Mehra said. We can have 2 or 3 or 5 metric tons for distribution, if we can have 20 MT from the Central government then we can direct it to the centers for individuals dedicatedly, Mehra suggested. There are 1000s of stand-alone clinics, which are not getting oxygen, he said.

Advocate Arindam said that there are private ambulances that are carrying patients, are also not getting oxygen. Mehra said this problem has arisen for stand-alone clinics, stand-alone doctors were doing fine earlier but now as we have allocated everything to the hospitals these stand-alone are unable to function.

Advocate Arindam also reminded Mehra that in several hospitals in Delhi, there is a lack of oxygen and concentrators. Justice Sanghi asked, “Where is the infrastructure, oxygen, medicines?”

Advocate Arindam replied, “Milord, there are people from foreign countries who can provide concentrators and many private people who are willing to do that.

The Court is hearing all matters relating to COVID-19 Pandemic crisis. The matter is being heard on Day-to-Day basis.
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