Hoarding COVID medicines: SC refuses to stay proceedings against Gambhir foundation

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday refused to stay the proceedings against BJP MP Gautam Gambhir’s foundation in a case relating to illegal procuring and distribution of COVID-19 medicines.

A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah said people were running around for medicines and drugs, and in this situation suddenly a trust comes and says we will give you medicines.

“This is not done. We do not want to say anything but we also have our ears to the ground,” the bench observed while refusing to entertain the plea.

The apex court asked the petitioner to approach the Delhi High Court and seek appropriate remedy.

Senior advocate Kailash Vasdev, appearing for the foundation, sought a stay on the prosecution under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

On sensing disinclination of the bench, the counsel for the Gambhir’s foundation withdrew the petition.

The Delhi government’s drug controller had earlier informed the Delhi High Court that Gautam Gambhir Foundation has been found guilty of unauthorisedly stocking, procuring and distributing the Fabiflu medicine to COVID-19 patients.

The high court had deprecated the manner in which a huge quantity of the drug was procured and said genuine patients who needed the medicine at that particular time could not get it as the bulk stock was taken away by cricketer-turned-politician Gambhir.

AAP MLA Praveen Kumar has also been found guilty for similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and action will also be taken against him, the court was informed.

The high court was hearing a PIL seeking lodging of an FIR on the allegations that politicians are able to procure and distribute in huge quantities the COVID-19 medicines even as patients were running from pillar to post to get them.