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Friday, February 23 2024

Chamarajanagar tragedy: Karnataka HC sets one-hour deadline to centre and state 

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Bengaluru: Owing to the death of Covid patients in Chamarajanagar due to oxygen shortage, the Karnataka HC on Tuesday imposed a 1-hour deadline and demanded an explanation of oxygen shortage in Karnataka from the Central and State government.

The court has requested the Central government to inform by 2.30 p.m. any changes in the increased allocation of oxygen from the original 865 tonnes as against 1,700 tonnes requisitioned by the State.

The State government was asked to explain whether it has been utilizing only 441 tonnes of oxygen per day as on April 28 as was referred to in an order of the Supreme Court. The State government had told the High Court that it estimated the requirement at 1,400 tonnes as of April 30 whereas the Central government has allocated 802 tonnes.

A Special Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Aravind Kumar issued the directions at around 1.15 p.m. It advanced the hearing on Covid-related PILs to take judicial note of the death of at least 24 Covid-19 patients in the hospital in Chamarajanagar on May 2 and 3 allegedly in view of oxygen shortage.

Though the Bench is in favor of ordering a judicial probe into the incident at Chamarajanagar and similar incidents, the Advocate-General said that a full-fledged inquiry can be ordered once the report of preliminary inquiry is available.

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