The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni was on Tuesday informed that investigations against the 'trust' through which Congress MLA Zeeshan Siddiqui facilitated supply of essential drugs like Remdesivir etc to citizens, who sought it through social media. Meanwhile, actor Sonu Sood moved the bench denying allegations of "hoarding essentials" during the pandemic, levelled against him.
On Tuesday, when the matter was called out, advocate general Ashutosh Kumbhakoni for the state, submitted a note detailing the action taken against MLA Siddiqui and actor Sood.
"As far as the MLA is concerned, a complaint has been filed with the Magistrate against the BDR trust, which supplied drugs to the netizens, who approached the MLA. Probe is on in the matter as the trust wasn't licenced to supply the drug," Kumbhakoni said, adding, "Even the role of the MLA is being looked into despite him saying that his role in all this has been limited."
The bench accordingly ordered AG Kumbhakoni to hand over the note to advocate Rajesh Inamdar, who had raise the issue of celebrities "illegally" supplying Remdesivir etc to netizens, especially when the state itself failed to make these drugs available. "Let him (Inamdar) go through the report and specify his stand on the issue," CJ said.
Meanwhile, actor Sonu Sood petitioned the bench through advocate Milan Desai seeking intervention into the proceedings. He has claimed that he only helped patients get the drugs and didn't personally purchased or stored the essentials.
In a bulky plea, Sood detailed the "work" he has done for the citizens, doctors, health workers and even migrants in the first wave of the pandemic. He highlighted his work right from making available meals for citizens to providing PPE kits and other essentials for doctors and medical workers. The plea further detailed how he helped migrant workers to go back to their hometowns in the first wave when a nation-wide lockdown was declared.
The plea further explained how he helped citizens during the second wave, when most of them sought essential drugs like Remdesivir, Tocilizumab etc on social media platforms like Twitter. He said he helped citizens in phases.
"In first stage, I would request the patients to furnish the details of the patients along with the copy of the patient’s Aadhaar card, covid report, doctor’s prescription etc. After receiving the documents, I would get the same verified by directly contacting the hospital authority where the patient was admitted," the plea states, adding, "Then I or my volunteers would verify the availability in the nearest pharmacy or hospital. If the drug was still not available, I would contact the concerned district magistrates, members of parliament, chief medical officers of the area as may be required."
The actor further stated that he would then connect with the hospitals and pharmacies to find out the availability of the said medicines following which he would exchange the patients' information with the authorities to enable them to help the patients directly.
"If the patient would not be able to bear the cost I would pay for it. I even requested manufacturers to provide requisite medicines to needy patients through various hospitals and pharmacies," the plea added.
As far as all other allegations are concerned, Sood maintained, "I deny all allegations of purchasing, stocking, storing, dealing, distributing and supplying medicines in any manner."
The bench however, said it would hear the matter on Thursday.