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"Its Unthinkable,We Never Asked For Any Preferential Treatment": Delhi High Court Slams Delhi Govt For its Order Giving 5-Star Covid Facility For Judges

Srishti Ojha
27 April 2021 12:57 PM GMT
Its Unthinkable,We Never Asked For Any Preferential Treatment: Delhi High Court Slams Delhi Govt For its Order Giving 5-Star Covid Facility For Judges
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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday confronted the Delhi Government for its recent order to use 100 rooms of Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi for setting up of COVID Health facility for the use of Justices, other judicial officers of Delhi High Court, and their families.A division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli clarified that contrary to what the order suggests, no such request has been made...

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The Delhi High Court on Tuesday confronted the Delhi Government for its recent order to use 100 rooms of Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi for setting up of COVID Health facility for the use of Justices, other judicial officers of Delhi High Court, and their families.

A division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli clarified that contrary to what the order suggests, no such request has been made by the Delhi High Court. The Court has asked the Delhi Government to take corrective steps in terms of the order, or else the Court will quash it. 

During the hearing, the Bench stated that there has been lot of media coverage regarding the order for having having 100 bed COVID facility for Judges. 

"This is very misleading, High Court has not made any such request and no communication was made in this regard. " Justice Sanghi observed.


Saying that no request has been made by Delhi High Court to the Delhi Government for setting aside Ashoka Hotel rooms for judges as COVID19 facility, the bench took suo moto cognizance of news paper reports regarding the same and issued notice to Delhi Government.

The Bench further said that the order has been passed on 25th April by Ms Geeta Grover SDM Chanakyapuri and paragraph 6 is misleading as it states that 'request has been made by the Delhi High Court for setting up a facility' 

The Bench further said "No  uch request was made by us that set up a facility at this hotel or that hotels. The purpose of meeting was that Judiciary, particularly Subordinate judiciary have to go to Courts, have been infected and their families have been infected. We have already lost two Judicial Officers" 

"All that we wanted was, in case they need admission, there may be some facility available . And that has been converted to such an order." the Court said. 

"You don't have oxygen, and you are talking about having 100 beds facility for us. Its unfortunate." Justice Rekha Palli said. 

"The problem is you are passing orders left right and centre without actually bothering or meaning to do anything about it. Like you say you are making a facility when we didn't even ask for it, and you are passing an order and attaching to so and so hospital which has no manpower, doctors, oxygen, no equipments or ventilators, etc. But you have done your job on paper."  Justice Sanghi remarked. 

"Can we as an institution say that create a special facility for us? Will this not be blatantly discriminatory that people can't get treatment and there is a facility in five star hotel for us" the Bench further added. 

The Bench stated that the projection of such an order is that the Court has taken the matter to benefit itself or the Government has done it to appease the Court. 

Advocate Rahul Mehra submitted that media's perception cannot be controlled by anyone, and what they do and how they twist or turn is for them to do.

"Can we as an institution say that create a special facility for us? Will this not be blatantly discriminatory that people can't get beds and we say you reserve 100 beds in five star hotel for us?" the Bench observed 

"Media projections are done God knows how." Mehra said. 

"Media is not wrong in pointing this out as the order is wrong. You cannot create an exclusive facility like this. " the Bench said.

Mehra ensured the Court they will look into it and respond to it. 

Bench further stated that they cannot make an exclusive facility like this for a class and the order is wrong. 

"I am aware that a request has also been placed before CJI for having a facility for lawyers, etc. and if that facility comes, it will be for class of lawyers, and media can say why only for lawyers?" Mehra said.

Mehra added that things are done in one different context and are blown out of proportion. Its done with good intention and not mala fide intention. 

"Mr Tripathi has accepted notice on behalf of respondents and wishes to file a reply. Corrective steps be taken, and this kind of order be withdrawn, or else the Court will quash it." the Bench directed 

"Its unthinkable that we as an institution will want any preferential treatment." the Bench said

The Delhi Government through its order dated 25th April decided to use 100 rooms of Ashoka Hotel, for setting up of COVID Health facility for the use of Justices, other judicial officers of Delhi High Court, and their families.

The Notification to this effect was  issued by Incident Commander/SDM, Sub-Division Chanakyapuri.  The COVID Health facility would be run by The Primus Hospital and the following directions have been issued by the Delhi Government:-

* • Biomedical waste disposal will be the responsibility of the Hospital.

* • The staff of the hotel shall be provided all protective gear and given basic adequate training.

* • Ambulance for the transfer facility will be provided by the Primus Hospital.

* • For any shortage of hotel staff, the same will be provided by the Hospital.

* • All the services including rooms, housekeeping, disinfection & food for the patients, etc shall be provided by the hotel.

* • The charges shall be collected by the hospital and the hospital shall make the payment to the hotel.

* • The Primus Hospital may accommodate their doctors, nurses, and other paramedical staff at their own expense after deciding the rates mutually.

Click here to read/download the order



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