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Delhi High Court Directs Central Government To Ensure No Hindrance in Transportation of Oxygen Under Orders Issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs 

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Case: Rakesh Malhotra vs. Government of National Capital Territory of India and Ors


Transportation of Medical Oxygen was hindered by the local authorities. Observing the grave situation of COVID-19, an order dated 22.04.2021 was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs under the Provisions of Disaster Management Act. The order stated that there shall be no restriction in the movement of persons and goods. The Court directed the Central Government to strictly ensure compliance of the order. 

Facts of the case

An order was passed by the High Court of Delhi on 21.04.2021, where the court directed the authorities to ensure supply of medical oxygen to Delhi on the same day. Mr. Mehra, learned counsel appearing for the Respondents stated before the court that the supply of oxygen to Delhi is being obstructed in the states where it is being produced, while on its way to Delhi and assured that 480 MT of medical oxygen will be delivered to Delhi. However, the oxygen was not delivered in its prescribed time.  

Court’s Observations

The Court observed that only 200-250 MT of Medical Oxygen was delivered and 140 MT of Medical Oxygen which has been to be supplied from the plant Air Liquide, Panipat has been obstructed by the local authorities. Further, the Court observed that the position in the NCT of Delhi has turned precarious with several hospitals reporting with the exhaustion and depletion of the Oxygen. Mr. Mehra submitted before the court that the said order was issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs on 22.04.2021 under the Provisions of Disaster Management Act where it is clearly stated that no restriction shall be there on inter-State and intra-State movement of persons and goods. 

Court’s Judgement

The Court directed the Central Government to ensure strict compliance of the Allocation order dated 21.04.2021 and order passed on 22.04.2021 under the Disaster Management Act. The Court also directed all authorities concerned, who are bound by the allocation order and the order passed under the Disaster Management Act, to ensure its strict compliance. Further, the High Court stated that non-compliance of these orders will be taken seriously as it is likely to result in grave loss of life. Non-compliance will lead to contempt of court, penal as well as criminal actions. The Central Government is also directed to ensure adequate security and no hindrance in transportation of Oxygen. 


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