SC asks the Center to finalize the SOP on medical oxygen supply in 8 weeks | Latest India News

The Supreme Court gave the Center eight weeks on Thursday to finalize guidelines on the supply of medical oxygen equipment and devices as it considers a public interest litigation (PIL) highlighting the tragic deaths of 60 children in a hospital in Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, allegedly due to lack of oxygen supply.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud said: “The Union Counsel of India says that the National Oxygen and SOP guidelines for optimal use of Medical oxygen equipment and devices are currently under review by the Department of Health and Family Welfare.

The Center informed the Court that eight more weeks will be needed to finalize everything.

Read also : Supreme Court arrests Center for delay in filing affidavit on Ram Setu

The bench, also comprising Justices Hima Kohli and JB Pardiwala, said: “In this light, we grant time, as requested, to file a counter affidavit before this Court after the directions have been duly made placing the directions and the relevant check-in policy.”

The tribunal posted the case in the third week of January.

The order came on a PIL filed by a certain Naresh Dixit.

The petition was filed in 2017 following the Gorakhpur tragedy asking for a blanket order to put in place a uniform policy on medical oxygen supply in hospitals without interruption.

He also called for an investigation into the slippages of the Gorakhpur tragedy that occurred at Baba Raghav Das Medical College.

60 children lost their lives over a period of one week, including 23 infants.

After the incident, it was alleged that the liquid oxygen supplier took this extreme measure after sending several warning letters to the public hospital to pay its accrued dues of 68 million.

Initially, the bench was not inclined to keep the matter in abeyance. He felt that the matter would be best handled by the Allahabad High Court.

Barrister Sarvesh Bisaria, who argued the PIL with Barrister Prakash Chand Sharma, urged the Court to take a holistic view as there was no uniform policy on oxygen supply in public hospitals .

The bench remarked: ‘Can we tell parliament to make a law. Health is a state subject. Bisaria pointed out that during the Covid pandemic, the Court took up a suo moto case to organize the supply of oxygen throughout the country. Incidentally, CJI Chandrachud had led this bench.

The bench remarked: “It was an unprecedented high oxygen demand situation. We are in a completely different situation today.

After learning that the matter was under consideration by the government, the bench agreed to review the guidelines before disposing of the petition.

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