FPJ Legal: HC frowns on Sonu Sood, Zeeshan Siddiqui for 'illegally' supplying Remdesivir to netizens

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni for the state informed the bench that a criminal complaint is filed against BDR Trust, through which Siddiqui supplied the drug to citizens seeking help on social media.

"The complaint is filed because the trust doesn't have any licence to sell the drug. We have even named it's director Dheer Shah and it's pharmacy and four other directors," Kumbhakoni submitted, to which, Justice Kulkarni sought to know action against Siddiqui.

"No. We haven't named Siddiqui in our complaint. I can say this is the first step," the AG responded.

The AG further explained that Siddiqui "only diverted people to this trust and wasn't personally involved in procuring the drug and thus his name isn't mentioned in the state's complaint to the Magistrate."

"Isn't diverting innocent citizens to a trust that doesn't have a licence, to procure the drug, a criminal offence?" Justice Kulkarni asked the AG.

With no response, the judge said it would amount to an offence.

Further, AG Kumbhakoni said that in Sonu Sood's case, there is a chain of persons. "It is like A contacted B, B to C and C to D. Finally we landed up at the shops of Life Line Medical Care and Hospitals, Goregaon. It was this hospital's pharmacy that provided Remdesivir to Sood," Kumbhakoni submitted.

The hospital, as per the AG, received the vials from Cipla, Bhiwandi unit. "Thus, our probe in Sood's case is pending at the doorstep of Cipla. It has to respond to our queries," he added.

Having heard the submission, Justice Kulkarni said, "In both these cases, the two personalities were dealing with the public at large. They were aware that only the government can procure Remdesivir still they got it or take or that sake diverted people to purchase it from some illegal pharmacies."

"They portrayed themselves as Messiahs for the needy. But you need to investigate and scrutinise their roles in this entire issue," Justice Kulkarni added.

The judge further said that the roles of these two personalities need to be investigated as many people might follow the suit.

"Tomorrow anyone would come on social media and help citizens. They will tell people that they will help them because the government isn't helping them," Justice Kulkarni said.

"We are concerned about the public perception. What will the public think of the government that has been taking all possible efforts. But then there is this parallel transaction going on. We aren't appreciating this approach of these two individuals," Justice Kulkarni observed.

The bench said that they were more concerned of the issue because there wasn't any clarity on the authenticity of the drugs being supplied.

"Yesterday itself there was an incident of vaccines being misused at a society in Kandivali. It is disturbing us because the hospitals weren't aware at all that the vaccines were being given to the society from their premises," Justice Kulkarni observed.

The judges kept the matter for further hearing and to know the status of the probe against Sood and Siddiqui, till next Friday.

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