Move HC, Says SC on Delhi Govt’s Plea for More ICU Covid Beds

In the last few days, coronavirus cases have crossed the 7,000 mark in the capital.

2 min read
The Supreme Court of India. 

The Delhi government's plea stressing the urgent need for keeping more ICU beds for COVID patients in view of cases increasing every day failed to move the Supreme Court which on Tuesday, 10 November declined to lift the Delhi High Court's stay on the order to reserve 80 percent ICU beds in private hospitals for such patients.

The apex court asked the city government to move the high court, which is slated to hear the matter on 27 November, 2020.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, representing the Delhi government, contended before a vacation bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and BR Gavai that the Diwali festivities and mingling of persons during this period may see a huge spike in COVID cases.

The Delhi government said that it plans to keep beds reserved for two weeks more and thereafter, depending on the situation, will withdraw the order.

At this, the bench asked the government's counsel why they didn't it appeal to the high court to advance the hearing in the matter, citing the urgency, and allow the bench concerned to consider its grievances.

As Jain said that in the last few days, cases have crossed the 7,000 mark, the bench replied: "It was 10,000 earlier.. It is fluctuating number. You have not stated any material on record to show no beds are available for COVID-19 patients."

Jain submitted that a lot of people come from outside and avail treatment in private hospitals and use ICU beds. He said that the expert committee suggested Delhi needs 6,000 ICU beds and they had 3,500 beds only.

He added that with the notification, the government can add more beds. “Out of 133 hospitals, only 33 hospitals have been reserved,” Jain said.

As Justice Gavai said that this should have been informed to the Delhi High Court, Jain submitted that there is an urgent requirement of hearing the matter since situation in Delhi regarding necessity of providing ICU beds to Covid-19 patients is increasing day by day.

Senior advocate Maninder Singh, representing the Association Of Healthcare Providers, submitted that the matter is listed before the single bench of the High Court later this month and he has no objection if the matter is taken up on any early date by a division bench of the High Court.

The bench said: "In view of the above, we are of the view that looking to the facts of the case and the request made by learned counsel for the parties, we request the concerned Bench for taking up the LPA on November 12. It shall be open for the parties to submit such pleadings and submissions before the Division Bench as may be advised."

"With these observations, the Special Leave Petitions stand disposed of. Pending application (s) shall stand disposed of," it said in its order.

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