New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid the acute shortage of oxygen to treat COVID-19 patients, the Delhi High Court on Thursday slammed the central government and asked why states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh were given more medical O2 than they had asked for while the national capital's allocation was not increased.

A two-judge bench of the Delhi High Court that included Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli also asked the central government to respond and said that it should expedite the process of the PSA oxygen plants at the earliest.

"We make it clear that by no means are we interested in securing for Delhi oxygen more than what is required and that too at the cost of any State or UT. However, if submissions of Mehra and Amicus are accepted, it would appear that the centre needs to explain this aspect," the court said, as reported by Bar and Bench.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that it will respond to the court's query and give the reasons for giving more oxygen to Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, noting that there are several "states which received less than what they had asked for".

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra placed before the court a list of oxygen demand by several states and allocations made to them and said that only Delhi was not being given what it was asking for, while others were getting more than or close to what they were asking for.

'Release Remdesivir seized by police for use by hospitals'

The Delhi High Court on Thursday also asked the state government to release Remdesivir seized by the police from hoarders and black marketeers. It said that once a seizure was made, the Investigating Officer (IO) shall immediately inform the Deputy Commissioner (DC) of the revenue department about the same.

The IO shall also ascertain that the seized medicines are genuine and ensure they are kept in a refrigerated environment to maintain their effectiveness till they are released to a hospital or a COVID health centre, the bench said.

The observations were made by the court while it was hearing several pleas on the oxygen crisis and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic which the national capital is presently grappling with.

(With inputs from agencies)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma