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Not Supplying Oxygen to Hospitals an Act No Less Than Genocide: HC

Justices Ajit Kumar and Siddhartha Varma ordered an inquiry into deaths at various hospitals in Meerut and Lucknow.

Updated
COVID-19
2 min read
The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday, 4 May, hauled up the Uttar Pradesh government over COVID-19 deaths amid oxygen shortage in the state.
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The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday, 4 May, hauled up the Uttar Pradesh government over COVID-19 deaths amid oxygen shortage in the state, saying that “death of COVID patients just for non-supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than a genocide”, reported Bar & Bench.

“We are at pain in observing that death of COVID patients just for non supplying of oxygen to the hospitals is a criminal act and not less than a genocide by those who have been entrusted the task to ensure continuous procurement and supply chain of the liquid medical oxygen,”
Division bench of Justices Siddhartha Varma and Ajit Kumar

A bench of Justices Ajit Kumar and Siddhartha Varma also ordered an inquiry into deaths at various hospitals in Meerut and Lucknow, taking note of videos showing people begging for oxygen which had gone viral on social media.

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“How can we let our people die in this way when science is so advanced that even heart transplantation and brain surgery are taking place these days,” the justices said, adding these news items painted a picture that contrasted with the view presented by the government.

"The state of affairs that we have come to know about the management of an online portal created by the government today casts a shadow upon the COVID-19 hospital management,” the court further said.

In light of this, the bench has asked the District Magistrate, Lucknow and District Magistrate, Meerut to probe the matter of such news items within a period of 48 hours and submit their reports, reported LiveLaw.

The Bench was referring to the news of the death of five patients in the ICU of a new trauma centre of Medical College in Meerut, as well as two hospitals in Meerut and Lucknow which washed their hands off of patients due to shortage of oxygen.

The court added that it normally would not have ask for enquiries into such news, but were doing so because lawyers appearing in the matter submitted that this was indeed the case. Therefore, the court has found it necessary to direct immediate remedial measures to be taken by the government, the order said.

(With inputs from LiveLaw and Bar & Bench.)

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