Mumbai: Observing that counting chickens before the eggs have hatched would be dangerous for the justice delivery system, the bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and Bhalachandra Debadwar of the Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to issue a directive to the Aurangabad police to register an FIR against Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil, the BJP MP from Ahmednagar district. The HC has however ordered police authorities to "act in accordance with law" if any complaint is lodged with it.
Vikhe-Patil was accused of illegally and secretly procuring 10,000 vials of Remdesivir and bringing the same to Ahmednagar district in a private aircraft.
However, senior counsel Shirish Gupte for the MP told the judges that his client had only offered to airlift 1,700 vials that were procured from a Chandigarh-based manufacturer as the dealer of the drug in Pune was running out of stock.
Gupte told the judges that his client runs a hospital for Covid and that patients there were in dire need of the injection and thus to save them, Vikhe-Patil airlifted the drug from Chandigarh.
Having considered the contentions and even the records submitted by district collector and civil surgeon showing only 1,700 vials procured, the bench said it won't pass orders to register an FIR against the MP.
"We have least doubt that we are concerned with lives of people being saved in Covid-19 pandemic and appropriate distribution and utilisation of Remdesivir. We earlier passed orders directing registration of FIR against persons indulging in black marketing of vials," HC said.
The bench further said it ordered the FIR in black marketing cases as the demand for Remdesivir has increased multifold and the distribution and supply needs to be regulated.
"There is a shortage of the drug in entire nation. People think Remdesivir is a magic drug. They think it is like 'amrut' which once administered Lord Yamraj would leave the mind, body and soul of the infected person," Justice Ghuge observed.
The judge further said that the court won't do the duties of a police inspector.
"We won't order an FIR to be registered but yes we will ask the police department to act in accordance with law," Justice Ghuge clarified.
"We have no hesitation in observing, any person, even from lowest strata of society or public figure or politician would not be above the law if it is noticed he has violated law and has committed an offence. Even the MP in the present case won't be treated above the law," the judge added.