Delhi government happy with HC nod to oxygen deaths probe
With the Delhi High Court giving its nod to the constitution of a committee to probe claims of deaths due to oxygen shortage during the COVID-19 second wave, the city government said it wanted the truth to come out. On Tuesday, the government issued a statement saying it respected the court's direction and expressed its gratitude for the same.
Delhi government's decision to form a HPC was rejected earlier
The Delhi government's decision to form a high-powered committee (HPC) to look into the cases of deaths due to an alleged shortage of oxygen had failed to get the lieutenant governor's approval earlier. "The Delhi government has been serious about the deaths due to lack of oxygen during COVID-19. It wants the truth to come out in front of everyone," the statement said.
The L-G had refused to approve the proposal twice
"Surprisingly, the Delhi government had sent a file in this regard twice to the L-G but he refused to give his nod," the statement further said. "Finally, today the court has upheld the stance of the Delhi government," it added.
Committee would not attribute any fault to any hospital: Government
The Delhi HC on Tuesday said it saw no difficulty in the constitution of HPC by the AAP government to probe deaths caused by alleged medical oxygen shortage during the COVID-19 second wave. The court noted the Delhi government's stand that the committee would not attribute any fault to any hospital and any compensation will be paid and absorbed by the government alone.
Criteria for determining compensation will be open to scrutiny
It further recorded that as per the Delhi government, the criteria for determining compensation will be open to scrutiny and its task would not overlap with that of a sub-group constituted by the Supreme Court on allocation and utilization of oxygen. The Delhi government announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to families of those who died due to oxygen shortage during COVID-19 treatment.
Delhi witnessed an acute medical oxygen shortage earlier this year
The government had formed a panel of medical experts to probe such claims and sent it for the L-G's approval, but it did not materialize. The city witnessed an acute shortage of medical oxygen supply during the peak of the second wave earlier this year. The death of some COVID-19 patients due to the shortage of medical oxygen was reported during this period.