Distribute foreign aid to voluntary organisations: Delhi HC tells Centre

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that the Centre should consider distributing foreign aid, particularly medical equipment, to voluntary organisations, including Gurdwaras and NGOs, who are rendering public service in these times.

“Once the government has got the aid, it is for the aid of the people of India. If anybody is there who is rendering voluntary services… it has to remain where it can be put to use. There is no point in the government of India taking it back and putting it in some store and letting in lie in junk…,” said the division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli.

The court further said that the equipment received is an aid for the people of India and therefore the same should be made available to and installed for use by the people. “It would serve no purpose if it remains stacked in some institution and is not available for use when most required,” it added.

Senior Advocate Rajshekar Rao, amicus curiae, earlier expressed concern with regard to distribution of large amounts of foreign aid including medical amounts being received.

Rao told the court that the Lady Hardinge Medical College has been provided with 260 oxygen concentration machines when it has 310 COVID beds out of which 45 are ICU beds and 265 are non-ICU oxygenated beds. Such random and arbitrary distribution of the medical equipment may result in the same being denied to the right quarters for the benefit of patients, Rao told the court. The bench said the concerns raised by Rao merit consideration and directed the Centre to look into the instance pointed out and also look at the allocation made till now to various hospitals and other institutions.

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