THE Delhi Government order converting 100 rooms of Delhi’s five-star Ashoka hotel into a COVID-19 health facility for the use of judges and other judicial officers of the Delhi High Court and their families, did not go down well with the Delhi High Court, which slammed the government for doing something which it never asked for.
“We have made inquiry from the Ld. Registrar General of this Court as to whether a request for setting aside rooms in the Ashoka Hotel, or any other hotel had been made to the GNCTD, either for the Judges of this Court, or the judiciary subordinate to this Court, or their family members. We are informed that no such request has been made in respect of any hotel, much less Ashoka Hotel”, the court said.
“When people aren’t getting beds, you are passing such orders? Is it to appease us? You can’t create a special facility like this. We never asked for it”, said a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli.
“Can we, as an institution, say that you create a facility for us that such and such beds are required for us. Would it not be patently discriminatory”, Justice Sanghi asked senior advocate Rahul Mehra, who appeared for the Delhi Government.
The court said that all that it wanted was a facility for admission in case of a requirement as the court already had lost two judicial officers. The government had converted that into such an order.
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The Delhi government assured the court that it would take corrective measures and withdraw the order forthwith.
As per the government’s order, a request was received from the high court for creating a Covid19 facility centre. The request letter is, however, not available in the public domain.
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.