New Delhi: Over the ongoing oxygen crisis in the national capital, the Kejriwal government today told the High Court that other states like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra were supplied with more oxygen than was asked for, however, the same was not the case with Delhi. The High Court has now asked the Centre to either give a justification for this or “make amends”.Also Read - Delhi's Sehgal Neo Hospital With 70 Patients On Oxygen Support Has Supply Left For 1 Hour, Sends SOS

The court said that if the information provided was to be accepted, it would appear that the central government needed to explain this aspect and granted it a day to respond.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Centre, said the government will file an affidavit on the court’s query and will give the reasons for giving more oxygen to Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, if that is the case. “There are states which received less than what they had asked for. We have been rationalising,” he said.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing the Delhi government, said that while the national capital’s requirement was 700 MT per day, it was allocated 480 and 490 MT and the Centre has not increased it.

Mehra and senior advocate Raj Shekhar Rao, who is amicus curiae in the case, informed the court that as per the national allocation plan, Maharashtra demanded 1500 Metric Tonnes (MT) of oxygen per day and was allocated 1661 MT; similarly, Madhya Pradesh demanded 445 MT and it was allocated 543 MT and that the situation was similar for several other states.

During the hearing, when the court asked a senior central government officer as to why Delhi’s supply was out of line while MP and Maharashtra were given more oxygen, Mehta said the population of MP was more than the national capital.

He then told the officer, “You cut from MP and give it to Delhi. It would be at the cost of some lives in MP but let us do it for Delhi.”

This was objected to by the judges who said, “Don’t give it an impression as if we are asking something extra for Delhi. Don’t project like this. We don’t appreciate this. We are asking this on the basis of facts and figures. You can’t be emotional about it. You have to take this head on, you can’t duck it.”

The court is hearing the matter on the oxygen crisis and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic which the national capital is presently grappling with. The hearing started at 11.30 AM and is continuing.

(With PTI inputs)