Breaking News SC says plea seeking criminal liability for shortage of...

SC says plea seeking criminal liability for shortage of oxygen supply during COVID is “vague”

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New Delhi Sept 10 (ILNS) The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking directions for Compensation of Rs 2 crore, for families of those died during COVID-19, due to non-availability of oxygen and fastening criminal liability on officials.

A bench led by Justice DY Chandrachud said, as regards to supply of oxygen the issue is already dealt with. Compensation is also dealt in a Suo Motu matter. The prayer of fastening criminal liability is “vague”. “It is not necessary to entertain this case. Dismissed,” noted the Court in its order. 

The plea was argued by petitioner-in-person DK Chopra, Rastriya Adyaksh “Bhrashtachar Anmolan Mahasangh”. The petitioner had sought directions to the Central Govt and the Delhi Government. The plea had alleged that innumerable incidents of deaths reported due to lack of oxygen supply and culpable officers should be subjected to criminal punishment. Further, it had sought directions to pay 2 crore of compensation (1 Crore from the Central Govt and 1 Crore from the Delhi Govt) to be paid to families or those who died due to in availability of Proper oxygen supply during the COVID19 pandemic. 

“the Constitution of India in Part III provides for fundamental rights including to life and health of persons under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Even though “Right to health” is not an explicitly stated fundamental right in the Constitution, the Supreme Court, through various judgments, has interpreted it to be part of the right to life under Article 21. Accordingly, the State has a constitutional duty to protect the fundamental right to life and health of persons. The deaths caused due to the absence or inadequacy of the most basic elements of medical infrastructure exposes the failure of the State to fulfill its duty,” the plea had said. /ILNS/KR/SNG

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