Bombay HC directs Nagpur divisional commissioner to arrange oxygen from steel plants


For meeting the needs of Covid-19 patients across the Maharashtra state, Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court on Friday directed Nagpur divisional commissioner to requisition all the liquid oxygen produced by four steel plants in Maharashtra.

The four steel plants of liquid oxygen include Bhandara, Thane, Pune and Dolvi in the Raigad district. The respective directors of the steel plants have been requested to agree to the arrangement to avoid compulsory requisitioning.

Advocate Aditya Goel, who filed an interim application, informed the court that the Lloyd steel plant and other steel plants had their oxygen-producing units and they could also be asked to divert the oxygen for overcoming the shortage of oxygen supply.

The suggestion was accepted by the Court and directed the divisional commissioner of Nagpur to place a request before the directors of the plants.

“We request him to consider suggestions made by advocate Goel and examine if, under section 36 of Disaster Management Act, it can be requisitioned or not. In fact, we have full faith in the directors of this company that given the receipt of a humble request from the divisional commissioner of Nagpur, they would readily agree to submit the oxygen plant of their company and would not let any situation of compulsory requisitioning in any manner,” the court observed.

The Court directed the Nagpur divisional commissioner to requisition the cylinders to bottle the oxygen being brought through the railway route in tankers.

The Court said, “If required, form a team of officers who would be personally visiting units, and empty cylinders available can be taken with help of police and state reserve police force (SRPF). Needless to say, appropriate rent would have to be paid for owners of cylinders requisitioned in the public interest.”

The Court further directed the state to place a request before the central-level committee to fulfil the requirement of Remdesivir. The Court posted a hearing of the suo motu Public Interest Litigation on April 27.

“We direct the state of Maharashtra to review the provisions regarding requirement of Remdesivir vials in state and if it is found more vials are required than those allotted, appropriate request with proper justification be made to the central level committee,” the Bombay High Court ordered.

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