Delhi High Court seeks status report on how Gautam Gambhir procured bulk supplies of COVID-19 drugs

‘We are sure he had good intentions. But the way he has gone about it, he has actually done a disservice, unintentionally may be’

Published - May 24, 2021 06:23 pm IST - New Delhi

BJP MP Gautam Gambhir. File

BJP MP Gautam Gambhir. File

The Delhi High Court on Monday directed the drug controller to give a status report on its inquiry on how politicians such as BJP MP Gautam Gambhir was able to buy COVID-19 drugs in bulk amid shortages.

"Mr. Gautam Gambhir must have done it to genuinely help the needy. Let us be clear about it. But the issue is, is that a responsible behavior? Should he not have realized that medicines are in shortage for others?" a bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh remarked.

The high court also directed the Drug Controller of Delhi government to probe into allegations of procuring and hoarding medical oxygen made against AAP MLAs Priti Tomar and Praveen Kumar.

On Mr Gambhir, the high court wanted to know how he was able to procure 2,343 strips of Tab Fabiflu when the drug was in such short supply in the city. The high court also queried how a chemist was able to entertain such a prescription.

Also read: Delhi police report on politicians ‘hoarding’ COVID-19 medicine ‘vague’, says HC

"We want to see the prescription," the high court said adding that a chemist is supposed to dispense medicines only to patients. "A chemist is not a bulk supplier.. he has undertaken a retail sale which has to be to a retail customer," it said.

“Mr Gautam Gambhir must have done it with best of intentions. He has been a national player...We are sure he had good intentions. But the way he has gone about it, he has actually done a disservice, unintentionally may be," the high court observed.

The high court's direction came while hearing a petition seeking lodging of an FIR against politicians who allegedly were able to procure Covid-19 drugs in huge quantity.

Delhi police, in its status report, stated that 2,628 strips of Tab Fabiflu was bought by Gambhir Gambhir Foundation through one Dr Manish of Garg Hospital. While 2,343 strips were distributed to patients, remaining 285 strips were deposited with Delhi government’s Director General of Health Services for distribution.

Taking note of the report, the high court said it needed to be probed how these medicines were distributed to several patients or attendants by Dr Manish. It also noted the concerned DCP have collected the supporting documents in relation to the case.

It asked the Drug Controller to give a status report on the issue within a week saying that "a very clear case made out".

"We want to see the prescription of the doctor and the offences that are made out and to take actions accordingly," the high court said adding that the jurisdiction in the case comes under the Drug Controller and not under the Delhi Police, as per a Supreme Court's ruling.

The high court will hear the case again on May 31.

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