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Failure of State to Provide Oxygen to its Citizens is Article 21 Violation: Bombay High Court Goa Bench

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday observed that COVID-19 patients dying due to lack of oxygen is a clear violation of Article 21 of the constitution.

A Bench of Justices MS Sonak and NW Sambre, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by South Goa Advocates’ Association (SGAA) held that “It is not our intention or role or expertise to go into supply, logistics etc. (But) as a Constitutional court we recognize right to life and have to ensure life is protected Article 21 is completely violated if people die due to lack of Oxygen.” 

The High Court while hearing the issues related to COVID-19 management in Goa, urged the state and other authorities to make sure that the Oxygen requirements of state are met.

The court observed that neither the court nor the authorities can be in denial of the fact that several deaths are happening in the state due to lack of oxygen.

The court while recording the submission if Dean of Goa Medical College observed that the hospital needs 1000 cylinders of oxygen of which 500 needs to be delivered by 2PM.

Further the courts also observed that the hospital needs 72 trolleys of oxygen if the patients were to be treated effectively thereby causing no deaths due to unavailability or lack of oxygen.

While saying, “At this stage we can only say State administration has to make further efforts to see that GMC is supplied with Oxygen as indicated above”, the court ordered the state to make sure that the same requirement are met.