Death due to Oxygen Shortage Nothing Less Than a Genocide, Allahabad High Court Reprimands the Uttar Government

The Allahabad High Court reprimanded the Uttar Pradesh state authorities for failing to fulfill the oxygen requirement.

People wait in long queues to procure oxygen in Lucknow. Image Source: India Today

The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday in a continuation of hearings in the suo motu case that it had previously started to address the COVID-19 crisis, reprimanded the Uttar Pradesh state authorities for failing to fulfill the oxygen requirement.

The court took into consideration numerous SOS calls from patients and hospitals pleading for oxygen and several reports on the internet about deaths of COVID-19 patients due to lack of oxygen. The High Court bench also questioned the state government’s continuous denial of oxygen deficit. 

Death Due to Oxygen Shortage is a Criminal Act

The Bench comprising of Justices Ajit Kumar and Siddhartha Verma said that deaths of COVID-19 patients due to oxygen shortage in the state is a criminal act and “is not less than a genocide.” The bench also ordered a probe into several reports of such deaths on social media platforms in Meerut and Lucknow, Bar and Bench reported

While addressing the submission made by an advocate, the bench found that the online portal created by the government for information about both public and private COVID-19 hospitals displayed false availability of beds. 

Panchayat Elections Amidst a Raging Pandemic

The court also took the State Election Commission (EC) to task for not taking any substantial action on the court’s orders. In the previous hearing, the court had questioned the EC about the deaths of poll officers who had to do election duty during a health crisis. The court said that any “slackness” on the part of the EC  to look into this matter will not be entertained.

COVID protocol disappears as people gather to vote in the panchayat. Image Source: Gaon Connection

The Wire reported that the court also discussed the explicit disregard for COVID-19 guidelines during the Panchayat Elections in the state. 

“People gathered in huge numbers at the counting centers and both the Election Officers and Police administration had completely failed to ensure the compliance of Covid guidelines.”, the court said. 

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