Fabiflu: Delhi High Court terms drug controller report ‘trash’

It does not explain how 2,343 strips were supplied to Gautam Gambhir Foundation, it says

Updated - May 31, 2021 06:04 pm IST

Published - May 31, 2021 06:03 pm IST - New Delhi

BJP MP Gautam Gambhir. File

BJP MP Gautam Gambhir. File

The Delhi High Court on Monday rejected as ‘trash’ the status report filed by the drug controller on the issue of BJP MP Gautam Gambhir procuring huge amount of Fabiflu, used for treating COVID patients, when they were in short supply in the capital.

“This tendency of people trying to take advantage and then trying to appear as saviour. This has to be denounced,” a bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh remarked pointing at the action of the former cricketer.

The High Court said the drug controller has not done any investigation on how “a large consignment” of 2,343 strips of Tab Fabiflu was supplied to the Gautam Gambhir Foundation, which is not a medical practitioner.

It termed as ‘questionable’ the drug controller’s stand that the drug was not in short supply.

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

“You [drug controller] are wrong to say it was not in short supply. You want us to shut our eyes. You can’t take us for a ride. If you think we are so gullible, we are naïve, we will give you back hard. You better do you job.”

While the drug controller argued that the Tab Fabiflu was bought by the Foundation through one Dr. Manish of Garg Hospital, the court asked how Mr. Gambhir was able to purchase it just because Garg Hospital said it.

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

“Can anybody take a letter from a hospital and say give it [drug] to me...Here is a man who is hoarding thousands of strips of medicines. He is interrupting the flow of medicines,” the bench said.

“You’ve not even bothered to see if it was legal to supply drugs to the Foundation,” it told the drug controller. It directed the drug controller to submit a ‘better’ status report after taking into account the factual contradictions and legal provisions.

The court also said the former cricketer has to be ‘mindful’ of the action he has taken. “Thousands of needy people who could have got these medicines were unable to do so. 285 strips were left. This shows that he procured more than what was required,” it said. “If it continues, we know how to deal with it.”

The court also noted it was not satisfied with the status report into allegations of procuring and hoarding medical oxygen made against AAP MLA Praveen Kumar.

The 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. It will hear the case again on Thursday.

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