Wed, 29 Sep 2021

Can't prosecute good Samaritan: Delhi HC

ANI
30 Jul 2021, 04:56 GMT+10

New Delhi [India], July 29 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday pulled up the state's Drug Controller for targeting leaders like AAP MLAs and for initiating prosecution against them on allegations of hoarding oxygen and said that if it is taking action against them who were having oxygen and helping people in COVID-19 crisis, then it should also take action against all Gurudwaras, temples and good samaritans.

The HC said that allegation against AAP MLAs and Gautam Gambhir Foundation is different as Gautam Gambhir Foundation was very irresponsibly having COVID medicines.

A Division Bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh pulled up the Drug Controller of Delhi on targeting leaders of the political party for providing oxygen cylinders and said "there were some Samaritans who provided oxygen and you can't prosecute them."Delhi HC said: "If Drug Controller is deciding to take action against them who were having oxygen, then you should also take action against all Gurudwaras and temples etc.""Drug Controller should not go against a person, who was only trying to help the society. The reason for picking up Gautam Gambhir's case was that he was very irresponsibly having covid medicines, " the Court said.

The HC noted that the offence on oxygen is technical in nature.

The HC said that both Delhi and Central Government failed in providing sufficient oxygen to people in Delhi. "There were some Samaritans who provided oxygen. You can't prosecute them, " the Court said adding that it was unfortunate that a tragedy is being used for political capital.

The HC asked Drug Controller counsel to take instructions on the aspects of initiation of prosecution against persons who were allegedly involved in the distribution of free medical oxygen to the needy COVID-19 patients and listed the matter for August 5.

The court observation came when it was informed by advocate Nandita Rao, appearing on behalf of the Drug Controller of Delhi that it has initiated prosecution against AAP MLAs on the allegation of allegedly hoarding oxygen.

Drug Controller of Delhi told the High Court that it has initiated prosecution against Gautam Gambhir Foundation before a city court, which has taken cognisance of the offence and issued summon against Gautam Gambhir Foundation.

Delhi's Drug Controller Department has filed an affidavit informing the Delhi High Court that it has initiated proceedings against BJP MP Gautam Gambhir's Foundation, and two AAP legislators Praveen Kumar and Imran Hussain for unauthorised stocking of medical drugs and oxygen.

Drug Controller Department of the national capital has told Delhi High Court sales licences of all dealers/retailers who have sold Favipiravir Tablets and Medical Oxygen to the Gautam Gambhir Foundation for conducting medical camp and free medical oxygen distribution activity have been suspended for the period of 10 days for contravening the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, after giving them adequate opportunity to submit their explanation.

"The sales license(s) of all dealers/retailers who have sold Favipiravir Tablets and Medical Oxygen to the M/s Gautam Gambhir Foundation for conducting medical camp and free medical oxygen distribution activity have been suspended for the period of 10 days for contravening the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Rules, 1945, after giving them adequate opportunity to submit their explanation, " Drug Controller Department said, in an affidavit, filed in Delhi High Court.

The department said that based on the enquiries made by the Investigating Team, a prosecution in the Court of Law has been launched against Gautam Gambhir Foundation, its trustees and CEO on July 8, 2021, or contravening the provisions of Section 18(c) read with Section 27(b) (ii) of the DrugsCosmetics Act, 1940.

The affidavit further added that a prosecution has been launched against AAP MLAs Praveen Kumar and Imran Hussain too.

Drug Controller Department of the national capital has told Delhi High Court that Hussain was not holding any drug license for stocking or sale or distribution of sold drug namely medical oxygen at his premises in Ballimaran here and he was found to have stocked and distributed medical oxygen without holding a requisite licence under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

The affidavit was filed on the direction of Delhi High Court issued on June 3, whereby the HC asked the Drug Controller to take against such person, filed another status report and listed the matter for July 29 for further hearing.

The Court was hearing a plea seeking to conduct an inquiry into the distribution of medicines by the Member of Parliament from East Delhi Gautam Gambhir and another application seeking inquiry against AAP MLA Praveen Kumar for distributing oxygen cylinders.

One petitioner Deepak Singh has said that Gambhir was distributing medicine when chemists were running out of stock and submitted that there must be a strong warning against chemists and politicians. Deepak Singh in his petition alleged medical mafia-politicians nexus indulging in black-marketing of Covid-19 medicines.

Another application was filed by Vedansh Anand through advocate Amit Tiwari seeking inquiry against AAP MLAs for distributing oxygen cylinders. (ANI)

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