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Thursday, June 17, 2021

‘Oxygen hoarding’: Delhi HC dismisses plea against AAP MLA after verification of documents

The court's orders came after it was told that Hussain had not received any medical oxygen from Delhi government or any of the refillers in Delhi.

Written by Sofi Ahsan | New Delhi |
Updated: May 13, 2021 1:40:09 pm
Imran Hussain (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

The Delhi High Court on Thursday said that it was not inclined to further proceed with allegations against AAP MLA and Delhi Cabinet Minister Imran Hussain, who was accused by a lawyer of hoarding and “arbitrary distribution” of oxygen cylinders. The court’s orders came after it was told that Hussain had not received any medical oxygen from Delhi government or any of the refillers in Delhi.

The court on Monday had asked Hussain to submit documents to prove his claim that he had procured the medical oxygen from Faridabad and brought 10 cylinders on rent from a seller in Delhi. Amicus curiae Senior Advocate Rajashekar Rao, who had been asked by the court to verify the documents, in a report on Thursday told the court that explanation given by Hussain that he refilled the cylinders from a dealer in Faridabad – Jay EMM Gases Private Limited – appears to be credible.

Delhi government in a reply also told the court that the government has not allocated oxygen in any form to Husain and the refillers have also not provided the same to him. The government had sought response from 16 re-fillers in the national capital who all replied that he was “not provided” any medical oxygen by them.

Senior Advocate Vikas Pahwa, representing Hussain, on Monday, had told the court that he was ready to submit the documents to prove that he has been procuring from Faridabad, and alleged that an impression was being created that he is doing any harm to the society. Pahwa also had submitted that Hussain has halted the distribution of cylinders, and there are many people including Gurdwaras and temples doing similar service.

However, the court had asked Hussain to submit documents to prove his claim and further said, “If you are doing a good voluntary service, why should you stop it? Please go ahead. We are not discouraging you from doing it. Our only concern is that this oxygen, you should not be taking from the re-fillers, which the Delhi government is receiving and giving to the re-fillers, because then what is happening that you are taking it, trying to gain publicity for yourself and your political party and using the resource of the state which is not permitted at all”.

Hussain in a written reply on Monday told the court that he “has not sought any monies for the service, which he is providing bona fide, out of a sense of social responsibility, and in view of his position as a Member of the Legislative Assembly from the constituency”.

Pahwa on Thursday told the court that because of the petition, people in Hussain’s constituency are now deprived of the good efforts he was making. “My name appeared on the front page of the newspaper that I am doing something wrong,” he submitted.

The court said it had not stopped Hussain. Pahwa submitted people coming to him are scared now as if he was doing something wrong. “Because of the fact show cause notice was issued and I was directed to remain personally present,” Pahwa submitted.

However, the court said it cannot stop people from coming to court and put fear in their minds. “We have called for an explanation, we have accepted it and closed the matter,” said the bench.

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