The Supreme Court on Friday refused to interfere with the Karnataka High Court order, asking the Centre to increase the daily liquid medical oxygen (LMO) allocation for the state from 965 MT to 1200 MT for treating COVID-19 patients.
A bench of justices DY Chandrachud and M R Shah said that the Karnataka High Court order of May 5 is well-calibrated, deliberated, and judicious exercise of power.
"It is a well-calibrated, well-considered judicial exercise by the High Court", Justice D.Y. Chandrachud told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, reported Live Law.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta submitted that his objection was in connection with the High Court interfering in the Centre's oxygen allocation plan amid the ongoing crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top court emphasized that it wants to avoid "grave injustice" to the people. The Centre claimed that if the High Courts started giving directions for oxygen supply, it would become unworkable.
The top court said it is conscious of the difficulty faced by Centre, but the court would also have to think about what will happen if the requirement of oxygen supply for COVID-19 patients in a state is not met.
The Centre's counsel argued that it will face great difficulty if all High Courts begin passing order on the supply of medical oxygen to state. Mehta submitted that this leaves room for every High Court to start examining and allocating oxygen. "Please order that this be not treated as a precedent", Mehta urged before the top court.
“Every state needs it (oxygen), but my concern is only with the High Court directing it. If every High Courts starts doing it, it will be a problem", the Solicitor General submitted, reported Live Law. The Solicitor General further said that the Centre was willing to sit together with the officials of Karnataka to resolve the issue.
The Centre on Thursday had moved the Supreme Court against the Karnataka High Court order to enhance daily liquid medical oxygen (LMO) allocation for the state for treatment of COVID-19 patients from the existing 965 MT to 1,200 MT.
For several days, the Supreme Court has been hearing disputes between the Centre and various states over the supply of oxygen and other essential resources in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
(With inputs from Agencies)