By LE Desk

New Delhi, May 5: The Union government today moved the Supreme Court against a Delhi High Court order on oxygen availability in the national capital and the lower court’s threat to pursue contempt charges against officials for non-compliance. 

The top court will hear the Centre’s plea today. Chief Justice India, NV Ramana, asked the court registry to place the papers on the matter before Justice Chandrachud’s bench for hearing, NDTV reported.

The Union government’s failure to implement a Delhi High Court order on immediate supply of the full quota of oxygen to Delhi “by whatever means” evoked the judges’ wrath yesterday. It asked the government to explain why a contempt case should not be initiated against it.

“Enough is enough. We will not take a ‘no’ regarding oxygen supply. There is no way that you will not supply 700 metric tonne oxygen immediately. We will not hear anything except compliance,” the Delhi High Court had said yesterday.

Despite the High Court’s repeated urging, the Centre has remained firm on its stance that the Arvind Kejriwal government had been allocated oxygen according to a calculation that applies to all states. The Delhi administration’s mismanagement is what has led to the crisis there, the Centre has held.

Over 40 people have died in the national capital as hospitals there have run out of oxygen and have been flagging the shortage every few hours.

“You can bury your head in sand like ostrich, we won’t…Are you living in an ivory tower?” the Delhi judges had said, pointing out that even the Supreme Court had ordered the Centre to provide 700 metric tonnes of oxygen to Delhi and not 490 metric tonnes.

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