The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashra government to examine the role of MLA Zeeshan Siddique and actor Sonu Sood’s Trust, Sood Charity Foundation, in supplying Remdesivir without any licence.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbakoni told a Division Bench of Justices S.P. Deshmukh and G.S. Kulkarni that a criminal case was filed with the Mazgaon Magistrate against Mr. Siddique’s Trust, BDR Foundation, and the trustees who were supplying #Remdesivir as they did not have licence. However, no case was registered against the Indian National Congress Party MLA as he had only supplied.
The court then asked, “Why is the MLA not booked? Is it not a crime to procure and supply? Examine this before we pass an order.” The A-G said, “I am only reporting the status. No case was reported against Mr. Siddique as he merely diverted those who approached him.”
The Bench asked, “So this happened at the instance of one person. Is directing someone not an offence?” The court asked the State to check if the drugs which were distributed by the trusts were spurious or not. “It does not give a good impression that anyone can use social media and say that person is coming to your help. This may create a public perception that the government is doing everything and yet there is parallel agency.”
The court asked if initiating action against the charitable trust was adequate and should the State not look further into the roles played by Mr. Siddique, Mr. Sood and any other celebrities concerned? “We would expect the State government to scrutinise their actions. We want you to very seriously examine their roles,” the court said. “Since both were dealing directly with the public, was it possible for the public to ascertain the quality or source of these drugs?” it said.