The Delhi government Thursday informed the Delhi High Court that it has withdrawn the order to create of COVID-19 facilities for judges, staff and their families in a five star hotel here. A bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli took on record the latest order passed by the government and disposed of the suo motu petition initiated by the court on April 27.
The high court had taken cognisance of the news reports which said that 100 rooms of Ashoka Hotel in national capital have been converted into a COVID health facility for judges of Delhi High Court on its request. The high court said no communication of this kind was made to anyone in this regard.
At the outset, Delhi government standing counsel Santosh K Tripathi informed the bench that the April 25 order requisitioning 100 rooms of the hotel for setting up COVID-19 facilities for judges and their families, has been withdrawn with immediate effect. On April 27, the high court had said it cannot ask for creating such facility which is going to be discriminatory and the SDM’s order in this regard was very misleading.
“This is very very misleading. The high court has not made any such request for setting up beds in any such five star hotel,” the bench had said and added that the order passed by the sub-divisional magistrate was wrong as the state cannot create a facility exclusively for a class. It had said when the Delhi government was unable to provide oxygen to everybody, it was talking of providing a 100-bed facility for the high court judges.
It had said the government cannot create a facility exclusively for a class, therefore, the SDM’s order was wrong. In an order issued by the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Chanakyapuri on April 25, it was stated that the COVID facility at Ashoka Hotel will be associated with Primus Hospital. The court had said it only had a meeting to discuss the situation in the subordinate judiciary where judges had to hold court in person and many of them, including their families, were infected by COVID-19.
“We lost two judicial officers to COVID-19,” the bench said and added that in such a situation it only wanted that if these judicial officers wanted admission in a hospital then some facility should be available to them. “That has been translated into this kind of order. As if we wanted a facility for ourselves. Where is the question of our having a 100-bed facility,” the court had said.