Probe how politicians and celebrities got drugs to treat Covid: Bombay HC to declare
The Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered the state government to investigate how some politicians and movie figures were procuring essential drugs and injections for Covid-19 treatment for people during the Allocation of these drugs, “available in scarce quantities in the country” was solely at the discretion of the central government, which distributes it to the states.
The Court observes that these personalities may have a “noble intention” to help others but have no authority to obtain drugs without the knowledge of the State and by “extra-legal” methods.
A division bench of Judge AA Sayed and Judge Girish S Kulkarni heard from a handful of PILs on Thursday alleging mismanagement of Covid-19 in Maharashtra and seeking instructions regarding the shortage of remdesivir and medical oxygen supply, and urging to watch black marketing and profit. allegedly occurred during the procurement and distribution of key drugs.
Representing the government of Maharashtra, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, while listing compliance with previous SC orders, informed the court that the Drugs Inspector had issued notifications to actor Sonu Sood’s charity foundation, Mumbai Congressman Zeeshan Siddique and a few others regarding the purchase of drugs.
The investigation in this regard is ongoing and the report will be submitted to the court once it is completed, he added.
Kumbhakoni said that Sood and Siddique, according to their responses to the Drugs Inspector, did not buy or store the drugs and injections and claimed to have acted only as “facilitators”.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh argued in court that the central government had already questioned the manufacturers and denied providing the drugs to a politician or celebrity.
“Can you (the state) believe their answers? They (politicians and celebrities) may be doing it in good faith, but don’t realize the legal repercussions. They want to help someone, but it has to be within the parameters of the law. Those who want to help, let them do with procedures known to the government. We cannot pass orders against them because they are not in front of us. Let the state investigate and warn them, ”HC said.
The CH will hear the DIPs on the issue on June 2.