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"People Dying Due To Oxygen Paucity": Jharkhand High Court Raps Govt, Warns Officials Of Contempt

Sparsh Upadhyay
4 May 2021 1:21 PM GMT
People Dying Due To Oxygen Paucity, Why All Beds In Sadar Hospital Not Operational

Image Courtesy: T. Narayan/Bloomberg

Dealing with a contempt case, which was filed for non-compliance with the order passed by the Court in a PIL dated (11th May 2017), the Jharkhand High Court rapped THE State Government for its failure to make Sadar hospital functional with 500 beds.

The Bench of Chief Justice Dr. Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad sternly remarked,

"In the considered view, the order passed by this Court dated 11.05.2017 has not been complied with even after lapse of about five years, therefore, the officers are in contempt."

The matter before the Court

The Court had, in May 2017, directed the State Government to complete the construction of a portion of 200 beds of Sadar Hospital and make it operational by the end of July 2017 and the rest portion of 300 beds of Sadar Hospital with all facilities to be completed by the end of December 2018.

However, the Court noted that its order was not complied with on one excuse or the other even after a lapse of about five years.

Importantly, the Court remarked,

"It requires to refer herein that across the country the people are dying due to paucity of oxygen. However, it has been stated by the State that 240 beds have been made available supported with oxygen through cylinders. The question herein is that this Court has directed the State way back on 11.05.2017 to make operational all 500 beds in Sadar Hospital, but the aforesaid order has not yet been complied with on one excuse or the other."

It was also informed to the Court that all the infrastructure had been made out by installing pipeline etc. but due to noninstallation of liquid oxygen plant the same was not being made functional by supplying oxygen through the aforesaid plant, however, efforts have been taken to create 240 oxygen supported beds through cylinder.

Further, the Court observed that if anybody would coming in the way of compliance with the Court's order, such person will also be liable to be proceeded under Contempt of Courts Act for deliberately creating an obstruction in compliance of the order passed by this Court.

Consequently, the Court posted the matter for Wednesday (May 6) to get the details of the efforts taken and the earliest possible time to complete the work. The State Government has also been asked to apprise the Court as to why the State Government was not deliberating with the H.E.C. Management to use its Plant Hospital which is having full infrastructure like beds etc. to utilize it for the purpose of creating more oxygen-supported beds.

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