CEO Serum Institute of India (SII)  Adar Poonawalla
CEO Serum Institute of India (SII) Adar Poonawalla
PTI Photo

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on Friday told the Bombay High Court bench of Justices Sambhaji Shinde and Nizamoodin Jamadar that it would provide security to Adar Poonawalla, the chairperson of Serum Institute of India (SII), which manufactures the Covishield vaccine. The state further said it would provide security if Poonawalla makes such request.

The bench was seized with a PIL filed by advocate Datta Mane seeking protection for Poonawalla on the ground that he has been allegedly threatened by some powerful politicians and big businessmen demanding more supply of the vaccine. The plea further sought a thorough probe into the alleged threats extended to him.

Deepak Thakare, the chief public prosecutor told the bench that the Union government has provided Y category protection to Poonawalla. He further submitted that few CRPF personnel are also deployed for his security.

"Thus, we have decided that we will provide security to him (Poonawalla) once he makes such a request," Thakare told the bench.

Having heard the submissions, the bench noted that nothing more survives in the matter. "We don't know if he (Poonawalla) is even aware of this petition for his security. What if he says he don't want any protection," Justice Shinde said, adding, "We cannot keep entertaining such petitions. In view of the statement made by the prosecutor, we are of the view that this petition can be disposed of."

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