SC refuses to interfere with Karnataka HC order directing Union govt to supply oxygen – The News Minute

The Karnataka HC had directed the Union government to supply 1200 MT of medical grade oxygen following the Chamarajanagar tragedy.

In what has come as a relief for the Karnataka government and the state’s residents, the Supreme Court on May 7 upheld the High Court order directing the Union government to give 1200 MT of medical grade oxygen.

A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said, “We will not interfere with this. Had we felt that they had stretched their powers, we would have interfered. But, this is well considered and well calibrated order.”

This comes after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had said that the Union government will discuss the matter with the state. SG Mehta argued that the Union government is concerned with liquid medical oxygen being a scarce resource, it cannot comply with every HC order if all HCs start directing them to give a set quantity to respective states.

 

Justice Chandrachud, however, said that order by the Karnataka HC was not arbitrary and was based on the state’s projection of 3.9 lakh cases and the minimum requirement being 1700 MT. “It (HC order) wasn’t arbitrary. Had it been that way, we would have addressed it,” he told the SG.

 

In the same context, Justice Chandrachud said, “We will not interfere with this. Had we felt that they had stretched their powers, we would have interfered. But, this is well considered and well calibrated order.”

 

SG Mehta further asked if the HCs can simultaneously hear these matters as done by the Delhi, Allahabad and other HCs. To this, the bench responded saying that the SC committee will decide on the matter but that does not mean the HCs can’t pass orders.

 

The bench further said that as deemed fit, the SC has already “interfered” in a Delhi HC ruling.

 

The apex court bench also pointed out that HC order being interim leaves the Union government the option to resolve the matter through mutual discussion with the state. 

 

This May 7 hearing came as the Union government on May 6 had filed a special leave petition praying the apex court sets aside the HC order passed on May 5. The Karnataka High Court direction on May 5 came following the Chamarajanagar tragedy on May 3 when 24 COVID-19 patients, who were on ventilators died, due to inadequate supply of oxygen at the government medical college hospital. Cumulatively so far 38 patients have died in the state due to lack of oxygen in light of the present crisis.

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member – Click here.

Source :Google News