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If actors or politicians are helping in supplying Remdesivir, won't it amount to hoarding? Bombay HC seeks response from Maharashtra govt

Narsi Benwal | Updated on: Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 08:35 PM IST

If actors or politicians are helping in supplying Remdesivir, won't it amount to hoarding? Bombay HC seeks response from Maharashtra govt  |
If actors or politicians are helping in supplying Remdesivir, won't it amount to hoarding? Bombay HC seeks response from Maharashtra govt |
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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni on Wednesday sought to know from the Maharashtra government if the act of a popular actor, who has been helping citizens throughout the pandemic and supplying Remdesivir and other essentials, would amount to hoarding. This comes after the HC was informed that citizens are seeking help from this celebrity actor, who has been ensuring all help within a short period of time, which even the governments aren't doing.

The bench while hearing a clutch of petitions related to Covid crisis was informed that there is a shortage of Remdesivir in Maharashtra.

Advocate Rajesh Inamdar for a petitioner told the bench that some hospitals have put up boards outside their gates saying they have run out of stock for Remdesivir and other essentials.

"Thus, citizens are taking to social media, Twitter more particularly, seeking help from this celebrity actor and a city-based young politician. In fact, these two individuals are doing a great job and are ensuring that the citizens get Remdesivir or Tocilizumab or even oxygen within a short span of time," Inamdar submitted.

"Our only anxiety is to know if some part of the total quota given to state is being allotted to these two individuals, who help citizens just on a tweet. We just want to say that when these two persons can provide help over a tweet then why can't the state do it?" the counsel argued.

Without naming the popular actor and also the politician, Inamdar handed over to the bench, a compilation of tweets by citizens seeking help from the two and their quick responses.

"I am not against these men. In fact, this actor is considered as a saviour in these testing times as he has been helping citizens across the nation since last one year," Inamdar clarified, adding, "But isn't it a serious issue, especially because at the time when people or even the government isn't getting these essential drugs then how do these two individuals get it."

The counsel further argued that one can just conclude that if s/he needs any of the essentials and if government resources have failed they can just tweet to this actor or the politician. "In fact, I would say that we need more such persons to come out to help citizens. But law says private persons cannot have these stocks. Then how is it being allowed?" Inamdar argued.

Taking note of the submissions, the bench sought to know from Akshay Shinde, the state counsel, as to how do these two individuals are getting stocks of Remdesivir. "Why don't you (state) have nodal officer to oversee the supply of essential drugs to these superstars?" CJ Datta remarked.

"The law is very clear. A private individual or even a pharmacist cannot procure Remdesivir at present. Then how are these two individuals getting it. Won't this amount to hoarding? We want the state to respond to this," Justice Kulkarni said.

Further, chief justice Datta pointed out how BJP MP Dr Sujay Vikhe-Patil was pulled up by the Aurangabad bench of the HC for airlifting Remdesivir vials.

"We aren't against these celebrities. They will have the blessings of God. If they are helping others, then we don't want to come in their way. But we have to dispense justice in accordance with law. We can't go against the law," the chief justice clarified.

Another counsel appearing in one of the petitions, urged the bench to issue directives to the actor and politician to hand over the stock to the state authorities so that they could help citizens.

"We want to hear from the state how is it going to deal with this issue," CJ said while adjourning the matter till next Wednesday.

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Published on: Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 08:35 PM IST