New Delhi, June 29 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued a notice on a plea filed by Matrix Cellular challenging a Delhi High Court order which refused to grant permission to release its oxygen concentrators seized by the Delhi Police amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
A bench comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, K.M. Joseph and B.R. Gavai said: “Issue notice, returnable in three weeks. Dasti, in addition, is permitted.”
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing Matrix, argued that when no prices were fixed, how can it be a case of black marketing?
He added that the scenario is similar to lawyers — if prices are not fixed, then they will charge whatever they want.
Rohatgi contended that every item included GST, and emphasised that if there is no price fixation, there can be no case of black marketing and hoarding.
He pointed out that the magistrate has sealed Matrix Cellular’s concentrators worth Rs 3.5 crore and which have become the case property now.
On May 27, the Delhi High Court had dismissed a petition filed by Matrix challenging the seizure of oxygen concentrators and other Covid care equipment from its office by the Delhi Police.
Justice Yogesh Khanna had observed that such a direction could not be issued when the investigation into the matter is at an initial stage.
In the backdrop of acute shortage of oxygen concentrators amid the raging pandemic, the court had said that there was no illegality committed by Delhi Police when it seized the oxygen concentrators. The court also pointed out that the attendants of the patients were running from pillar to post to purchase concentrators.