Centre Moves Supreme Court Against Karnataka HC Order Calling For Increase In Oxygen Allocation To State

The plea stated that the High Court order "would ultimately lead to mismanagement of resources and create a further chaotic environment in an already overburdened system"

The Centre Thursday moved the Supreme Court against an order of the Karnataka High Court order asking it to increase daily liquid medical oxygen (LMO) allocation for state from present 965 MT to 1200 MT for treating COVID-19 patients.

A bench headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud was told by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that the state is being supplied 965 MT LMO presently and the order needed to be stayed urgently.

he Centre submitted that the High Court failed to consider the rationale behind allocation of certain amounts of oxygen to each State.

“…purely on the basis of purported shortage in the city of Bangalore, passed directions which, if fulfilled, will have a cascading effect and result in the total collapse of the system in its fight against the ongoing second wave of COVID-19 Coronavirus,” the petition said.

The plea stated that the High Court order “would ultimately lead to mismanagement of resources and create a further chaotic environment in an already overburdened system”.

The Centre further submitted that issues which transcend the boundaries of the particular State, especially issues wherein one or more States would be competing for the limited resources during the time of the pandemic, or issues which require any special treatment to a particular State “which would be at the expense of other States would necessarily have to be examined by the Supreme Court as it essentially requires a comprehensive national approach,”, the Bar & Bench has reported.

On May 5, a Division Bench of Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar of the High Court had noted that the required quantity of oxygen was not being allotted by the Centre to the State amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Referring to an incident that took place in Chamarajanagar district where 24 people died at a Covid 19 hospital, due to shortage of oxygen, the High Court had said.

“Perhaps, if buffer stock of oxygen was there, the Chamarajanagar incident would not have happened.”

The Bench went on to note that the Government of India has offered no explanation as to why buffer stock (of oxygen) is not there in Karnataka despite the Supreme Court’s directions.

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