The Supreme Court on Tuesday sent to the Delhi High Court for hearing on November 12 a plea filed by the Delhi government challenging the stay on its order for the reservation of 80 per cent ICU beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
“Let this matter be placed in the Delhi High court day after tomorrow on November 12, Thursday. It shall be open for parties to submit such pleading before the court as may be advised,” a two-judge vacation bench of the apex court, headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan and also comprising Justice BR Gavai, said.
The apex court, which is on a vacation currently for the Diwali festival till November 15, was hearing today a plea filed by the Delhi government challenging the Delhi High Court order staying reservation of 80 per cent ICU beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the Delhi government, told the court that the Delhi government had the intention to keep beds reserved for two weeks more and thereafter, depending on the situation, it will withdraw its order.
“Delhi is seeing the worst spike in COVID cases,” Jain submitted.
Delhi’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had moved the top court seeking to set aside the Delhi High Court order staying its move to reserve 80 per cent of ICU beds in private hospitals for COVID-19 patients.
Delhi government in its argument before the Supreme Court today said that the Delhi High Court had failed to consider that it only directed 33 private nursing homes and hospitals to reserve 80 per cent of their ICU beds for COVID-19 patients.
The appeal of the Delhi government also stated that the courts cannot interfere with the policy decisions of the government, and especially when the policy decision is taken keeping in view the larger public interest due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the situation arising out of it.
Jain said that this is not adversarial litigation. “We want to continue with the 80 percent reservation after reviewing the situation and discontinuation after a few weeks,” he added.
Jain said that in the last few days the COVID-19 cases have crossed 7,000 per day and as the situation is getting worse, thereby the operation of the impugned judgments needs to be stayed for this week and this is crucial. “Cases will rise beyond our control,” he said.