Published On: Tue, Apr 27th, 2021

Delhi High Court slams AAP govt: Never asked for COVID facilities in five star hotel for judges

New Delhi: Visibly upset with decision of the Delhi’s Aam Admi Party government, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday said it has not made any request for creating COVID-19 facilities for its judges, staff and their families in a five-star hotel.

The Court said people were forced to buy oxygen cylinders in the black market for lakhs of rupees

Taking suo motu cognisance of the news reports which said that 100 rooms of Ashoka Hotel in national capital have been converted into a COVID health facility for judges of Delhi High Court on its request, a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said, “No communication has been made to anyone in this regard”.

“We have not made any such request for taking over facilities of a five-star hotel,” the bench said and directed the Delhi government to “take corrective steps immediately”.

In an order issued by the sub-divisional magistrate of Chanakyapuri on April 25, it was stated that the COVID facility at Ashoka Hotel will be associated with Primus Hospital.

The order also said that the facility was being set up at the request of the Delhi High Court.

Terming the order as “wrong”, the bench said the image being projected as a result of it was that the Delhi High Court judges have taken it for their benefit or that the Delhi government has done it to appease the court.

The high court also did not agree with senior advocate Rahul Mehra’s claim that the media played “mischief”, saying “the media is not wrong”.

It said that the media only pointed out what was wrong in the order and it was the SDM’s order which was wrong.

Also, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday expressed its displeasure over black marketing of medical oxygen while hearing a petition on shortage of oxygen and treatment of Covid patients in the national capital.

The Court said people were forced to buy oxygen cylinders in the black market for lakhs of rupees while their original cost is only a few hundred rupees. The court said those persons indulging in black marketing of oxygen should be taken into police custody.

During the hearing, the High Court said if the Delhi government is unable to manage oxygen cylinders then they should tell the court for procuring them. The court will ask the Central government to take over the charge of managing oxygen.

The court issued contempt notices to the five oxygen refillers who were absent during the hearing on Tuesday. Delhi Chief Secretary Vijay Dev informed the court that he has requested all oxygen refillers to furnish details of the tankers supplying oxygen in Delhi following which the quota of oxygen will be allocated for three days.

Dev said the oxygen quota has not yet been issued and will be done through an order. This information will be presented to the court. If there is a complaint filed by the hospitals, a provision will be made to resolve it.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, told the court that he would speak to the authorities and the oxygen supply would be ensured at Venkateshwar hospital in Delhi.

The court suggested that the Delhi government get information from all hospitals and pharmacies on the supply of Remdesivir and other medicines. The court suggested the appointment of accounting officials to the Delhi government. The court’s order came after it was told by the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute that they, too, were facing lack of oxygen and the nodal officials concerned were helpless.

The court told the Delhi government that it has the requisite powers to take action against those indulging in black marketing of oxygen.

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