Supreme Court seeks ‘National Emergency’ on Oxygen Supply, COVID-19

Supreme Court of India
Supreme Court of India

New Delhi: India reported the world’s biggest single-day spike of over 3.14 lakh Coronavirus Cases, the Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance on Thursday and issued a notice to the central government over the shortage.

The Supreme Court said it wanted a ‘National Emergency’ on the issue of supply of Oxygen, supply of essential drugs, supply and distribution of vaccines and issues whether high courts can order a lockdown.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde, also comprising Justices L.N. Rao and S.R. Bhat, said it would examine the aspect relating to the judicial power of the high courts to declare lockdown amid the pandemic.

“We as a court wish to take suo motu cognizance of certain issues. we find that there are 6 high courts Delhi, Bombay Sikkim, MP, Calcutta and Allahabad.  Now they are exercising their jurisdiction in their best interest. But what is happening is some kind of confusion and diversion of resources.” as the Court said.

According to the Union Health Ministry data updated on Thursday, a total of 3,14,835 fresh infections were registered in a span of 24 hours, while the death toll increased to 1,84,657 with a record 2,104 new fatalities.

“You are not exploring all avenues to augment oxygen supply. Beg, borrow or steal,” the high court had told the Centre, and asked why it was not waking up to the gravity of the emergency situation. It also warned that certainly all hell will break loose with the stoppage of medical oxygen to the hospitals.

“Fact of the matter is there is an oxygen shortage. It is there for us to see. We cannot shut our eyes to it,” the high court had said during an extraordinary hearing of a plea on the matter on a public holiday, and added that the government cannot say it cannot provide more oxygen and people can be left to die on roads.

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