SC Sets Up National Task Force To Distribute O2 To States; Wants Formula For Allocation Within A Week

A more comprehensive plan, including other aspects of healthcare, will be submitted in six months.

supreme court

The Supreme Court on Saturday has set up a jumbo national task force to devise a scientific formula for rational and equitable allocation of oxygen to states.

The task force has been set up as the centre failed to devise appropriate formula to allocate oxygen to states.

A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah asked the cabinet secretary to be the convener of the group and said the expert body will, within a week, provide the formula for need-based, dynamic allocation of medical oxygen to states and UTs.

A more comprehensive plan, including other aspects of healthcare, will be submitted in six months.

The apex court has also accepted the Centre’s suggestions for a broad-based expert committee to decide allocation of oxygen to the states.
The bench also said that setting up an NTF became a necessity because of a growing need for “an effective and transparent mechanism” for allocation of oxygen during the Covid-19 pandemic with the Delhi government complaining that it is not receiving the SC-mandated 700 MT of oxygen daily. The bench said the Centre had no option but to maintain a daily supply of 700 MT oxygen to the national capital.

Justices Chandrachud and Shah explained the rationale behind constituting the NTF and said it is to facilitate a public health response to the pandemic based on scientific and specialised domain knowledge.

“We expect that the leading experts in the country shall associate with the work of the task force, both as members and resource persons. This will facilitate a meeting of minds and the formulation of scientific strategies to deal with an unprecedented human crisis.”

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