Coronavirus | Supply 700 MT oxygen to Delhi every day, we mean business: SC tells Centre

Medical Oxygen cylinders being escorted by Delhi Police for smooth transportation at the Mathura Road in New Delhi on May 06, 2021.   | Photo Credit: MOORTHY RV

The Supreme Court on Friday underlined the obligation of the Centre to comply with the order to supply 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi “every day”, saying “we mean business”.

A Bench of Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah warned the Centre of forcing the court into taking “coercive action” against it by reneging on its assurance in court to supply 700 MT of oxygen to Delhi, which is battling a devastating second wave of the pandemic.

The court’s comments came after it went through a tabulated chart detailing the Centre’s “comprehensive plan” for the allocation, supply and distribution of oxygen to the national capital.


“You start by saying 700 MT and then as you go on, you bring caveats about containers coming in, etc… We are not container drivers here. We want 700 MT every day and we mean business,” Justice Chandrachud addressed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre.

Justice Chandrachud said he and Justice Shah had a discussion before the hearing on the issue and had agreed that the court in its previous orders intended that Delhi should get 700 MT every day.

“We did not mean that you supply 700 MT on one day. We meant you do it every day until we further examine the modalities. Please do not drive us to a situation where we have to be firm and take the coercive way. It is 700 MT every day, every single day,” Justice Chandrachud emphasised.

Mr. Mehta said he would convey the court’s observations to the authorities concerned during the day.

On May 5, the Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to burn the midnight oil and prepare a “comprehensive plan” for the supply of 700 MT of life-saving oxygen to Delhi on a daily basis.

The plan submitted by the Centre had to identify the sources of supply of oxygen to Delhi; the provisions for transport and logistical arrangements, including distribution points for oxygen.

The court had noted that the lack of oxygen was causing “tremendous anxiety” in the capital.

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Printable version | Jun 18, 2021 3:02:02 PM |

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