Delhi High Court: The Division Bench of Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, JJ., addressed the issues with regard to position of Non-ICU and ICU beds, PSA Plants, Medical Equipments, etc.
An application was moved on behalf of the State of Haryana to seek clarification in regard to the Court’s order dated 27-04-2021, whereby the Court had directed taking over operations of Seth Air Products at Palwal, Haryana whereat Seth Air Products was undertaking gasification of liquid Oxygen and supplying to Delhi. It was pointed out that Seth Air Products undertakes the said process not only to supply Oxygen to Delhi, but also to State of Haryana.
As per the allocation made by the Government of India, 21 MT of liquid Oxygen was to be gasified in favour of the State of Haryana, and for the NCT of Delhi it was 38.05 MT.
Bench while disposing of the application in regard to the above made it clear that the directions to take over the supervision of the plant of Seth Air Products situated at Palwal, Haryana by the officers of the GNCTD should not adversely affect the supply of oxygen to the State of Haryana in terms of allocation made by the Centre.
Senior Counsel for the GNCTD, Mr Mehra projected before the Court the position of both ICU and Non-ICU Beds in the NCT of Delhi. He submitted that by applying the formula worked out by the Central Government – in consultation with the ICMR, requirement of oxygen for the said 16,272 beds per day is 304 MT. There are a large number of other hospitals and nursing homes with less than 100 beds and their requirement put together is estimated at 120 MT of liquid oxygen per day.
Further, he added that looking at surge of cases and the intimation that the pandemic may peak around 15th of May, 2021, the GNCTD is making arrangements to add another 15,000 non-ICU beds, which would require 280MT of liquid oxygen per day.
Grievance of Mr Mehra is that the allocation of 480 MT or 490 MT of liquid oxygen per day to Delhi is far less than its requirement.
With regard to the 8 PSA Plants which were sanctioned by the Central Government to be set up in Hospitals in Delhi, the position informed to the Court was that 2 Plants are already installed, and 2 Plants would be made operational by 30-04-2021.
Bench stated that looking to the critical situation being faced by the NCT of Delhi, the Central Government should instruct the vendor to expedite the installation of the remaining 4 PSA Plants at the earliest. A status report clearly stating by when the said 4 plants would be installed and made operational be filed by 01.05.2021.
Senior Advocate, Tushar Rao and Mr Malhotra submitted that the U.P. State Government has requisitioned certain equipment called “On-Board Oxygen Generation System”, which produces 1,000 Litres of Oxygen per minute, from the DRDO. In view of the above, GNCTD should make a similar requisition of the said equipment from the DRDO so that same could be installed at the earliest.
Hence, GNCTD is directed to take immediate steps in this regard and raise a similar request, as was raised by State of U.P. to the DRDO and all the authorities concerned.
Bench stated that whenever any seizure is made of the medicines/ Oxygen cylinders, the IOs should immediately inform the District Commissioner concerned about the same, and they should also proceed, without waiting for any further orders, to ascertain the genuineness of the said medicines. They should also ensure that the said case property is kept in refrigerated environment, so that the same does not lose its efficacy and become non-usable. The District Commissioners should proceed to pass orders for release of the same without any delay.
Bench added to the above directions that the Delhi Police should immediately release the seized Remdesivir or other Drug used for treating COVID-19 or any Oxygen Cylinders seized from the possession of patients or their attendants, since they would have procured the same only out of desperation, and in need.
While releasing the case property, it shall be ensured by the Delhi Police that photographs/ copies of the relevant documents are retained, so that the case could proceed before the court concerned.
Executive Director Batra Hospital appeared and raised a grievance that in terms of allocation order dated 27-04-2021, said hospital has not been supplied gas.
Court issued notice to all the suppliers of liquid medical oxygen to the NCT of Delhi to be present before the Court with the data available in regard to the supply made by them.
Bench asked GNCTD to create a portal on their website for the creating a mechanism for the purpose so that any person located abroad, desirous of making the import of medical equipment’s to GNCTD. Status report to filed.
Notifications and directives issued by the CBIC to be placed on record.
Mr Sharma stated that the status report with regard to the cargos, which are waiting clearance on customs ports – in relation to the COVID detection and treatment, shall be placed on record in a sealed cover.
With regard to the development of a portal for bringing in transparency in the matter of distribution of medicines Professor Sanjay Dhir from IIT Delhi & Mr Rajiv Chauhan and Mr Ravi Omar from NIC were present.
The portal developed by the NIC had one shortcoming, namely, it does not have last stage disclosure about the identity of the patients to whom medication would be administered. He states that he has already communicated it to the NIC and suggested the modifications required in the portal. He states that the NIC has agreed to carry out the necessary modifications. Mr Ravi Omar and Mr Chauhan from the NIC stated that the Health Department of the GNCTD has to now provide their inputs so that final shape to the portal could be given.
Court directed that the exercise should be completed between NIC, GNCTD and Professor Dhir from IIT within one day and the said portal to be operation by 01-05-2021. [Venkateshwar Hospital v. GNCTD, 2021 SCC OnLine Del 1830, decided on 29-04-2021]