Mumbai, May 5: An advocate has moved the Bombay High Court seeking Z plus security cover for Adar Poonawalla, the chairperson of Serum Institute of India (SII), which is producing the Covishield vaccine.
The plea also seeks a thorough investigation into the alleged threats being extended to Poonawalla by the chief ministers of certain states and big businessmen, demanding more supply of the vaccines.
The petition filed by advocate Datta Mane would be mentioned on Thursday morning before a bench headed by Justice Sambhaji Shinde for an urgent hearing.
"I have learnt from newspaper reports that Adar Poonawalla has been receiving threats from chief ministers of a few states and also big businessmen demanding more supply of the vaccines," Mane has said in his plea.
"From his interview, it does appear that the Maharashtra government , as well as the Union government, have not ensured the safety of Poonawalla, his family members, and also the properties of the Serum Institute of India. He has now moved to the United Kingdom" the plea reads further.
The petition further states that it is being filed only for the protection of Poonawalla and his institute, "which is world's largest vaccine producing unit that is producing Covishield, which has become life savior for crores of people across India and world over."
The petition while referring to various records pertaining to the total active cases and vaccinated citizens, highlight the fact that in India only 2 per cent of the total population has been inoculated.
"Records show that as on date only around 2 per cent of the total population has been vaccinated and the rest 98 per cent are yet to be given the doses. If vaccine makers are threatened with dire consequences then they will not be able to produce vaccines to the fullest resources," the plea argues.
"If Poonawalla is forced to leave India due to fear of life then it would be a situation of a ship in the storm without its captain," the petition points.