“State has failed at performing its fundamental duty guaranteed to protect Article 21”: Delhi High Court

  • Shruti Kakkar
  • 10:30 AM, 01 May 2021

The Delhi High Court on Friday said that “the state has failed to perform its fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India”. 

These observations were made when Adv Amit Sharma broke in the middle of the hearing & informed the Bench that his brother in law, the petitioner Advocate Mr Atul Kumar Sharma who was CoVID positive lost his life due to non availability of a ICU bed in Maharaja Agrasen Hospital. 

Adv Amit Sharma (breaks down in Court): My brother in law is no more. I have lost complete faith in the system 

Sanghi J: No, the state has failed in protecting its fundamental right guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi & Justice Rekha Palli made these remarks while hearing the batch of pleas related to mismanagement of CoVID crisis in the capital. 

Sr Advocate Krishnan Venugopal made some suggestions for inclusion of hotels for the front line workers, using DTC vehicles for transporting medical equipment & converting SUV’s into ambulances. He further requested for having a single website to help people in real time. In this regard, Advocate Malvika Trivedi informed that the Janta Samvad website was completely incorrect & was not being updated in real time.

The Court said that, “We are informed that in respect of some of the hospitals, the state is not updating the information. Concerned hospitals may be reminded to update the data as quickly as possible.

On Sr Adv Mr Ramesh Gupta’s application for treatment of CoVID 19 positive advocates in Delhi the Bench observed that, “Chairman of Bar Council of Delhi seeks an application for treatment of CoVID 19 positive advocates in Delhi. Mr Ramesh Gupta submits that advocates have identified a hotel for conversion into CoVID care facility. The cost of conversion will be borne by Bar Council of Delhi. Let GNCTD take instructions on this aspect

In the meanwhile, another Counsel Adv Ankur Mahindroo suggested the ramping up of Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT) which could be conducted through mobile vans.

GNCTD shall examine the said aspect & inform about the same on Monday.”

The Court also directed the Nodal Officers of GNCTD to take care on the aspect of supply of oxygen to the Rescue Hospitals & also suggested the oxygen suppliers to make a Whatsapp group with the Hospitals allocated to them in order to share the information related to supply of oxygen in real time. 

Further, the Bench also directed the GNCTD to file a status report on the aspect of converting nitrogen plants into oxygen plants & to respond to the proposal made by Adv G Tushar Rao on the aspect of using Mohalla Clinics for supply of oxygen on Monday.

The matter is now listed for further hearing on April 30, 2021 at around 11:30 PM.