SC refuses to entertain plea on preventing sale of fake COVID-19 vaccines

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Centre for framing “strict” guidelines to prevent any chance of sale of fake coronavirus vaccines in the country.

A bench comprising Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said that though it understood the “motivation” behind filing of the PIL, it cannot pass general directions.

“We understand your motivation but you file a concrete case. We cannot pass general directions. We are not the legislature,” the bench told lawyer Vishal Tiwari who filed the plea in his personal capacity.

“If you (lawyer) want to persue this issue, you make out a case with concrete facts. We will allow you to withdraw with liberty to file it afresh,” the bench said in the hearing conducted through video-conferencing.

Tiwari then decided to withdraw the plea which was filed before the roll out of vaccines and had referred to the statement of Secretary General of INTERPOL to the effect that criminal organizations have been planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains.

The plea had said the INTERPOL official also issued a global alert to law enforcement agencies of 194 member countries warning them to prepare for organized crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online.

“Issue writ directions to the respondent (Centre) to issue strict guidelines and regulations under Disaster Management Act or under any other law by constituting a special committee to prevent the chances of fake and counterfeit Corona vaccine selling/circulating and advertising by any organization, company, online Apps,” it had said.

It had also sought directions for the government agencies to run awareness programme for safety of citizens against the danger of fake corona vaccine.

“Direct the Respondent (Centre) enact a strict law against the criminal act committed by selling or circulating the counterfeit corona vaccine by any organization or Individual,” it had said.