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"Medical Infra of State In Shambles, Don't Be Like Ostrich With Head In Sand": Delhi High Court To Delhi Govt

Shreya Agarwal
7 May 2021 5:13 AM GMT
Medical Infra of State In Shambles, Dont Be Like Ostrich With Head In Sand: Delhi High Court To Delhi Govt
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A division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli of the Delhi High Court which has been hearing a batch of petitions on oxygen shortage in Covid-19 management in Delhi, lay down in its order on Thursday, that the medical infrastructure of the capital has been totally exposed and "put to test". Upon protest by the Delhi Govt counsel, Sr. Adv. Rahul Mehra, against the said remark,...

A division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli of the Delhi High Court which has been hearing a batch of petitions on oxygen shortage in Covid-19 management in Delhi, lay down in its order on Thursday, that the medical infrastructure of the capital has been totally exposed and "put to test". Upon protest by the Delhi Govt counsel, Sr. Adv. Rahul Mehra, against the said remark, the court said that the health infrastructure is indeed in shambles and that the counsel must not behave like an ostrich with its head in the sand.

Mehra objected to the statement saying that while the infrastructure was "struggling", it was so for various reasons, including the shortage of allocation of oxygen from the Centre, and the court may kindly not say that the infrastructure was "in shambles".
Mehra submitted that 15,000 more beds were in the "pipeline", substantiating his point, however, the court refused to accept the same, saying, "Pipeline is pipeline."
The bench said to Mehra, "When you defend such a position you aren't rising above the politics. You know we always call a spade, a spade."
Referring to a particular case where an advocate had approached Court for an ICU bed for his brother-in-law but passed away by the time the same was arranged, the court asked Mehra, "What answer did we have for his family?"
The court was hearing a petition where another person had approached it seeking directions to the Union of India and the Delhi Government to provide him an ICU bed as he was critically suffering after having contracted the Corona virus.
Stating that it was getting such petitions everyday and the concern had to be addressed, lest the court merely become a channel between individuals and authorities, the bench said that while the petitioner did indeed have the right to life guaranteed under Art.21 of the Constitution, merely because he had approached Court, while thousands of others couldn't, he couldn't be given any preferential treatment over the others.
However, it was definitely the responsibility of the state to ensure that his right to life wasn't violated and that he was provided any medical facility he needed, be it a regular hospital bed, an ICU bed or an ICU bed with ventilator facility.


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