New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Supreme Court on Friday rapped the Delhi government over its handling of the COVID-19 situation in the national capital and asked them to coordinate with the Centre to improve the situation in Delhi and said that it doesn't want precious lives to be lost during this humanitarian crisis just because of political bickering.  

“Politics is for election and at this time of humanitarian crisis, each and every life needs to be taken care of. Please convey our message to the highest level that they have to keep politics aside and talk to Centre," the bench said.

The Supreme Court told senior advocate Rahul Mehra, appearing for the Delhi government, to ask the Chief secretary to talk with central government officials and sort out the problems in the national capital.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said Delhi is not able to lift the oxygen quantity due to logistical issues. The Centre also gave a power point presentation before the bench and said that there is no shortage of medical oxygen in the country and supply being augmented for COVID-19 relief.

There is enhanced production of oxygen in the country from about 6,000 MT per day in August 2020 to 9,000 MT per day to date, the Centre said, adding that UP has installed GPS devices on its tankers carrying oxygen to ensure that vehicles are moving.

The bench on April 22 took note of the pandemic situation due to sudden surge in COVID-19 cases as also in mortality and said it expected the Centre to come out with a “national plan” to deal with the distribution of essential services and supplies, including oxygen and drugs.

Earlier during the hearing, the apex court warned authorities, from the Centre down to police chiefs, against silencing people and their pleas for help on the presumption that they are raising false grievances on the internet. The top court made clear that any attempt to clampdown on the free flow of information on social media including the call for help from people would be treated as contempt of court.

The top court also asked the Centre, states and all DGPs not to take any action against anyone who is posting messages on social media about issues like shortage of oxygen, beds or doctors as spreading a rumour. “If any action is taken against such posts by citizens in distress, we will treat it as contempt of the court,” said the bench. 

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan