Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni raised the issue of a political personality procuring 10,000 vials of Remdesivir from Delhi and distributing it and asked the central government to file an affidavit by April 29.
Sujay Vikhe-Patil, Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Member of Parliament from Ahmednagar, had allegedly procured 10,000 vials of Remdesivir from Delhi, and flown it in a private chartered plane, and distributed it in Ahmednagar.
The bench took up the issue while hearing a PIL filed by city-based lawyer Sneha Marjadi alleging improper management of the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra and seeking directions pertaining to shortage of Remdesivir and oxygen among other issues related to COVID-19.
Chief Justice asked the central government to file an affidavit specifying how much Remdesivir and Oxygen is allocated to state. “Maharashtra is at the top even today. You being the sole authority for distribution. Place your stand,” ordered Chief Justice Datta.
And Justice Kulkarni questioned, “A political personality distributed 10,000 vials of Remdesivir. How is it possible? How can that politician airlift such a huge quantity especially when people are running from pillar to post. Won't this amount to privatization of the distribution of this drug?”
“Let the Union file an affidavit on this. If such an instance is repeated, we will call the Pharmaceutical companies,” said added Chief Justice Datta.
J Kulkarni further said, “Delhi is under crisis. How can this individual bring Remdesivir from there?” When additional solicitor general Anil Singh said, “Sir, let’s not rely upon media reports.”, the Chief Justice was stern in stating, “Not all media reports are fake.”
A day ago, advocate Pradnya Talekar had moved a criminal application against the sitting MP before the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court seeking that the vials be confiscated and be allotted as per the state allocation. While the bench did not pass any orders, it said that authorities could take effective steps as they would have normally taken in their course of duty. The Aurangabad bench will also hear the matter on April 29.