Want truth to come out: Delhi govt after HC nod to panel to probe deaths due to O2 shortage

Source: PTI | Published on 22nd September 2021, 11:13 AM | National News |

New Delhi: 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.

The Delhi government''s decision to form a high-powered committee (HPC) to look into the cases of deaths due to alleged shortage of oxygen had failed to get the lieutenant governor''s approval earlier.

On Tuesday, the government issued a statement saying it respected the court''s direction and expressed its gratitude for the same.

"The Delhi government has been serious about the deaths in the capital due to lack of oxygen during the coronavirus pandemic. It wants the truth to come out in front of everyone," it said.

"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.

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday said it saw no difficulty in the constitution of the high powered committee by the AAP government to probe the deaths caused by an alleged medical oxygen shortage during the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The court, dealing with a plea to operationalise the HPC, 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.

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 utilisation of oxygen.

The Arvind Kejriwal government has announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the families of those who lost their lives due to oxygen shortage during Covid treatment. 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 materialise.

The city witnessed an acute shortage of medical oxygen supply during the peak of the second wave earlier this year. Death of some COVID-19 patients due to the shortage of medical oxygen was reported during this period.

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