The Delhi High Court on Monday rejected the status report filed by the Drug Control Department of the national Capital clearing Bharatiya Janata Party MP Gautam Gambhir and two Aam Aadmi Party members of charges of hoarding medicines used to treat the coronavirus disease, Bar and Bench reported. The court called the report “trash”.
The Delhi High Court had on May 24 directed the drug controller to conduct an inquiry into allegations of illegally hoarding medical supplies against Gambhir and Aam Aadmi Party MLAs Priti Tomar and Praveen Kumar. While Gambhir had procured and distributed Fabiflu, used for the treatment of Covid-19, Aam Aadmi Party MLAs Priti Tomar and Praveen Kumar had acquired oxygen cylinders.
During the hearing on Monday, Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh noted that there was a fundamental error of approach in the drug controller’s report, according to the Hindustan Times. “The manner in which you have conducted the investigation is questionable. You have not examined how large quantities of drug was given when it was not sought by the doctor,” they said.
The judges added: “You haven’t done any exercise on the aspect of how such a large consignment of the drug was supplied to the foundation [the Gautam Gambhir Foundation], which wasn’t a dealer.”
The court said the report had no legal basis, according to Bar and Bench. It noted that Gambhir bought thousands of strips of the medicine, because of which others who needed it couldn’t get it. “[As many as] 286 strips [of Fabiflu] are left, which shows that he procured more than what was required,” the court added.
The Delhi High Court added: “The tendency of people taking advantage and trying to appear as a savior needs to be denounced. If this happens again. We know how to deal with it.”
The judges pulled up the drugs controller over its inadequate investigation into the alleged hoarding. “You want us to shut our eyes,” the court said, according to Live Law. “You can’t take us for a ride. If you think we are so gullible, we are naive, we’ll give you back hard. You better do your job. We will have you suspended and let someone else do your job.”
It added that its confidence in the drug controller was shaken and directed it to file a better status report by Thursday, The Indian Express reported.
Last week, the Delhi High Court had observed that leaders of political parties should not stock up medicines used for treating Covid-19 patients amid shortages.
Earlier in May, the Delhi Police had questioned Gambhir, the AAP MLAs, All India Youth Congress President Srinivas BV and other political leaders for alleged black-marketing and illegal distribution of Covid-19 supplies. Later, they cleared the politicians, telling the Delhi High Court that there was no proof of fraud against them and that they were “actually helping people”.