Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, on Monday informed the Delhi High Court that Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia has written to Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh for the assistance of Army to handle COVID-19.
Senior Advocate Mehra read the Delhi Government letter before the Delhi High Court.
He informed the court that the Delhi government wrote to the Minister for lending services of armed forces to set up and operationalise COVID facilities with about 10,000 oxygenated non-ICU beds and 1000 ICU beds.
A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rakha Palli asked the Central government counsel to take instruction on the communication by Delhi's Deputy CM to Union Defence Minister.
Earlier today, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was moved in the Delhi High Court seeking for handing over of management of oxygen supplies, including logistical aspect, in and around Delhi to Armed Forces for ensuring uninterrupted supply to hospitals and COVID facility.
Delhi HC is already hearing a matter regarding the supply of oxygen in Delhi hospitals and other related issues.
The public interest litigation was mentioned before the division bench for urgent listing today by Senior Advocates Abhinav Vasisht, Sacchin Puri, and Jagdeep Singh Bakshi.
The petition titled as Manish Gupta Vs. GNCTD and Ors. has been filed by advocates Praveen K Sharma, Dhananjay Grover and Kamil Khan.
The petition has sought for handing over the management of oxygen supplies to the Armed Forces.
The petition has sought direction from the respondent to enhance the oxygen allocation of Delhi from 590MT to 1000 MT.
"Issue a writ of mandamus to the respondents directing the respondents for handing over of the management of oxygen supplies, including but not limited to the logistical aspect, in and around Delhi to the armed forces for ensuring uninterrupted supply to the hospitals and the COVID facility during the pandemic," the petition read.
The petition also sought to issue direction to the Respondents to prosecute the persons and the agencies by invoking the National Security Act and Disaster Management Act who are found creating roadblocks in smooth transportation and ultimate supply of liquid medical oxygen from the plant to the various hospitals in Delhi.
The plea also sought to direct the Respondents to take over the units of oxygen suppliers who are found involved in black marketing or found creating any other roadblock during the pandemic.
The plea also sought to create a plasma bank for plasma donations by persons who have recovered for further treatment of persons infected by the virus.
The court in its earlier hearing had asked all Delhi hospitals to submit complete data on COVID patients occupying beds in their facility from April 1 onwards.
The court also directed the GNCTD to update the portal forthwith with regards to admissions and discharge.
Several hospitals in Delhi continue to grapple with a shortage of oxygen, as coronavirus cases continue to spike every passing day.
( With inputs from ANI )
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