Sisodia says Centre committing 'fraud' by not allowing probe panel on oxygen deaths

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Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. (Photo/ANI)
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. (Photo/ANI)

New Delhi [India], August 25 (ANI): Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Wednesday lashed out at the Central government for committing "fraud" against the people of Delhi by not allowing the state government to form a panel to look into deaths caused by a shortage of oxygen during the April-May second wave of COVID-19.

Addressing a press conference, Sisodia alleged that the Centre does not want a probe into the deaths due to oxygen shortage because the truth of their negligence will surface.

"The central government is once more working as a fraud in identifying the deaths due to oxygen shortage during the second wave of COVID-19. I have received a letter from the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandavia. He has written in the letter that there does not seem to be a justification for forming a committee to investigate the death due to lack of oxygen. The central government is saying that there is no need to form a committee because a task force has been formed under the order of the Supreme Court," said Sisodia.

"However, the five points of the task force that is being formed are recommendations for the coming time on how oxygen will be managed," he added.

"In the coming times, how would be the demand of oxygen, how will the distribution of oxygen monitored and what changes will be made from time to time and it is meant to suggest. The Health Minister is saying that because the Supreme Court has constituted a task force, there is no need to form a committee to investigate the people who have died due to the misdeeds of the central government in the country and in Delhi. I do not think that any central government would have ever done such a big fraud," he added further.

Further Sisodia asked, "In the task force by Supreme Court that was constituted on May 6 and the force is to work on 12 points. None of them is related to death due to lack of oxygen. Both the facts presented by the Central government are wrong. When the central government has to work according to the task force set up by the Supreme Court, then why did they ask the state governments for the figures of deaths due to lack of oxygen?

"I want to request the Union Health Minister to let this matter be probed so that it can be found out who was at fault and how many people have died due to lack of oxygen," he added.

The Supreme Court on May 8 set up a National Task Force for an effective and transparent mechanism for allocating medical oxygen in view of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the second wave of the pandemic.

A Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice D Y Chandrachud, constituted National Task Force (NTF) to assess and recommend the need and distribution of oxygen in the country.

"The Union Government shall continue with the present practice of making allocations of oxygen (as modified by the orders of this Court or the orders of the High Courts as the case may be) until the Task Force has submitted its recommendation in regard to the proposed modalities", the apex court said in its order.

The court said that the union government shall on receipt of the recommendations of the Task Force take an appropriate decision in regard to the allocation of oxygen and on all other recommendations. (ANI)

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