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 high court order of May 5 is well calibrated, deliberated and judicious exercise of power.
It refused to accept the Centre’s contention that if every high court start passing orders for allocating oxygen, it will throw the supply network of the country haywire.
Even as SG Mehta failed to convince the Court that it should interfere, the Bench said,
“We will not interfere with this today. It is a well-considered exercise of power by the High Court. If it was a breach of executive power etc, then we would have considered.”
SG Mehta nevertheless submitted,
“This leaves room for every High Court to start examining and allocating oxygen…please order that this be not treated as a precedent.”
However, Justice Chandrachud responded,
“We are looking at a wider issue. We will not keep the citizens of Karnataka in the lurch in the meanwhile.”
In its appeal before the apex court, the Central government submitted that the High Court failed to consider the rationale behind allocation of certain amounts of oxygen to each State.