Stop black marketing of oxygen: Gujarat High Court

Oxygen cylinder Law Insider
Oxygen cylinder Law Insider

Soni Satti

Due to the shortage triggered by the increase in Covid-19 cases, the Gujarat High Court said that some hospitals are black marketing oxygen. The Court ordered the State Government to make immediate arrangements for oxygen supply.

The Chief Justice pointed to a scam involving Covid hospitals, claiming that some Covid hospitals do not accept patients who need oxygen because their oxygen beds are filled by non-needy patients.

Hospitals refuse patients under the guise of being overcrowded.

During the hearing, the Chief Justice told the Attorney General, “Those who actually need oxygen are not getting beds. This is a problem that needs to be checked. I fail to understand that even at this time, people are interested in making a fast buck. Now oxygen is being black-marketed. That is the information we have. We cannot make a statement, but hospitals are doing this because oxygen is provided to them on demand. This is how they are misusing it,”

According to the Chief Justice, he obtained this knowledge from reliable sources. He mentioned that he did not feel comfortable disclosing this knowledge to the general public.

The Court ordered the government to address the problem and fix the situation as soon as possible.

The Gujarat Government told the Court that oxygen demand has increased and it listed the steps it has taken to ensure adequate oxygen supply, especially in four districts with major cities.

Additionally, the Gujarat Government informed the Court about the Centre’s proposal to help hospitals set up plants to become self-sufficient.

Two of these plants have already begun operations, and four more are in the works and will be operational by the end of the month.

The Attorney General also stated that if oxygen demand exceeds production capability, the State can purchase it from outside sources. The High Court ordered the Centre to assist the State Government with oxygen supply if it is required.

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