Jharkhand High Court directs release of seized Oxygen Cylinders

Lekha G

The Jharkhand High Court headed comprising of Chief Justice Dr Ravi Ranjan and Justice Sujit Narayan Prasad issued an order for the utilization of oxygen cylinders lying in judicial custody in different districts in connection with various cases for the purpose of treating persons affected by the virus.

The said order was passed in consideration of a memo submitted by the Advocate General for the State seeking the said direction.

The Advocate General submitted that the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare, Government of Jharkhand had informed the DGP, Jharkhand about the seizure of around 250 oxygen cylinders which are lying in different police stations and storerooms.

An appeal was made to make available such cylinders to the Deputy Commissioner and District Health Committee of each district for its utilization in view of the shortage in oxygen supply in the State.

The Judges accepted the plea of the government and directed the District Judges of the concerned areas to allow the release of such cylinders. The Court said that the Deputy Commissioners can make use of the released cylinders in an emergency so that people can be saved who are in dire need of oxygen.

The Court observed that, “We have further considered that number of such oxygen cylinders are lying in judicial custody in connection with various cases and if it would be released after imposing the appropriate condition, no prejudice would be caused to the parties to the lis rather it will be more beneficial for the people at large, who are suffering from Covid-19 pandemic and further the State Government will be in a better position in facilitating the treatment of persons who are suffering from Covid-19 pandemic and are in dire need of Oxygen.”

In regard to the loss of life due to shortage of oxygen supply at Ranchi Sadar Hospital, the Court directed the Secretary of the Department of Health, Medical Education and Family Welfare to conduct a detailed inquiry on the issue and take up action on those found guilty and further submit a report by the next date of hearing.

The Court also directed the Advocate General of the State to notify the Court by filing an affidavit with respect to the arrangement made in the Sadar Hospitals of each and every district of the State.

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