A plea alleging hoarding of oxygen by Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain came up for hearing before the Delhi High Court which on Friday asked him to reply to the claim of arbitrarily distributing oxygen to public for COVID-19 patients.
A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli issued notice on the plea to the Delhi government and the AAP MLA who has been directed to be present at the hearing on Monday.
The court was hearing the application by Vedansh Sharma alleging that Hussain was hoarding oxygen cylinders at a time when the entire city was in the midst of crisis due to the short supply of the life-saving gas.
The plea said such distribution of oxygen was illegal and unlawful and sought directions to stop the “unauthorized/ unlawful/ non-judicious/ arbitrary distribution of oxygen cylinders by the AAP sitting MLA and cabinet minister of Delhi government, Imran Hussain in order to ensure judicious and uninterrupted supply of the oxygen to the needy people”.
The plea, filed through advocate Amit Tiwari, has also sought an order for immediate arrest, investigation and prosecution against the alleged hoarding of medical oxygen by Hussain.
It further urged the court for a special investigation to find out officials behind the supply of the liquid medical oxygen (LMO) to Hussain.
The petitioner’s counsel urged the court to see social media pictures and claimed that hoarding of cylinders was visible and action be initiated against the AAP leader.
The court observed however that the pictures do not show hoarding and people are standing in line and some are taking oxygen from there.
The high court said it will have to be seen from where the MLA was getting oxygen as even gurdwaras are distributing it.
“He may be getting it from Faridabad, you can’t really have a problem if he is not eating away from the allocated source and he has arranged his own cylinders,” the court said.
It added that contempt proceedings will be initiated against violators in terms of its previous order against hoarding and black marketing.
Delhi government counsel said whether it is BJP leader Gautam Gambhir or AAP MLA Imran Hussain, the strictest possible action will be taken if any violation is found out.
The counsel said names and party do not matter and if there was any veracity in the allegations, his instructions from the highest authority was that the strictest possible action be taken.
Gambhir had earlier tweeted that some of the crucial medicines for COVID-19 patients were available at his offices and those in need, can take it from there.
He had also tweeted he has arranged oxygen concentrators and those in need can take it.