New Delhi: The Delhi High Court once again lashed out at the Centre for not complying with its order to ensure the adequate oxygen supply in the national capital.
The court also urged the Centre to respond for not initiating contempt of court related to its oxygen supply order and the Centre's compliance with it.
While people die without oxygen, the court could not stand like a mute spectator, the High Court said adding that the Centre might choose to dig its head like an ostrich in the sand but it could not.
The court was also enraged by the Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati and ASG Chetan Sharma's reply regarding an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Delhi's requirement of oxygen.
The HC's division bench comprising Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli doubted whether the Centre was living in ivory towers for its lethargic response in understanding the ground reality.
The Court termed the Centre's Supreme Court submission and attempt to quibble to justify its failure in supplying oxygen to Delhi and thereby letting people die. In the Supreme Court, the Centre had stated that the country had sufficient oxygen.
But the HC reminded the Centre that several hospitals and nursing homes were still begging for oxygen and they would not have made a cry for oxygen if there were sufficient oxygen stock.
The judges also disproved the Centre's Supreme Court submission, in which it had maintained that the government was directed to supply 700 MT. The compliance affidavit could not do any good given that the Supreme Court had taken note that Delhi's daily demand was 700 MT, it said.
The judges called the Centre's decision to supply only 590 MT of oxygen while the capital demands 700 MT unfair.
The court had directed Additional Secretaries of Home and Commerce Ministry, respectively, Piyush Goyal and Sumita Dawra to remain present during the hearing on Wednesday to answer the query regarding initiation of contempt proceedings.