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Friday, June 18, 2021

Plea alleges hoarding of oxygen cylinders by AAP MLA, Delhi HC seeks his presence

The court said it needs to be first found from where MLA Imran Hussain is procuring the oxygen cylinders and there cannot be a grievance then because he is only augmenting supply to Delhi

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 7, 2021 6:54:43 pm
AAP MLA Imran Hussain. (File Photo)

THE DELHI High Court on Friday issued a notice to AAP MLA and Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain and directed him to remain present in the hearing on Monday after a lawyer, in an application, alleged that Hussain has been hoarding oxygen cylinders and making “arbitrary distribution” of them.
While directing Hussain to file a reply to the application and issuing notice to the Delhi government, the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli said it needs to be first found from where Hussain is procuring the oxygen cylinders.

“Supposing he is not getting it from re-fillers in Delhi, supposing he has independent arrangement from some supplier in Rajasthan, Faridabad, or wherever. If he is getting it from there and he is giving it to some people in need in his constituency, then you cannot have a grievance because then he is only augmenting supply to Delhi. Even gurdwaras are doing it,” said the court.

However, the court added that there could be a grievance if Hussain is “eating into” the allocation orders made for hospitals, nursing homes, or for individual use at homes in the national capital. “Not otherwise. Let us be clear about it,” it added.

Advocate Amit Tiwari, representing petitioner Vedansh Anand, submitted that it needs to be investigated where he is getting oxygen and to whom he has been distributing and whether they were needy people. The court said it was not going to get into whether they were needy people so long as he has picked it from somewhere else and is not eating into the official allocation.

“We are not here to conduct an inquiry whether he is giving it to needy or non-needy. Obviously, anybody going and standing in a queue in this pandemic time with an oxygen cylinder is needy,” the bench said, adding the pictures also do not show he is a “hoarder” as the people are standing in line with their cylinders and with masks on.

Earlier before the court, Anand presented photographs from AAP Delhi’s Facebook page purportedly showing oxygen cylinders being distributed by Hussain at his office. While the government counsel Satyakam took objection to sharing of the photographs in the virtual hearing, saying they are already part of the petition, the court also told the petitioner’s lawyer, “Your point is taken. Please move on. Don’t dramatise it. Come to the point.”

Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra, representing Delhi government, told the court that many names are being taken in the proceedings before court. “Let’s say there is veracity to it. He (petitioner) should go and lodge a complaint with the local police and the police should investigate,” Mehra submitted.

Mehra also told the court that “strictest possible action” would be taken if at all any veracity is found in the claims being made before the court. “Irrespective of the fact who that person is,” he told the court, adding, “Whether it be Mr Gautam Gambhir, Mr Imran Hussain… does not matter”.

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