By Garima Tyagi
New Delhi [India], July 26 (ANI): The Supreme Court while disapproving the hoarding and distribution of essential drugs by a single individual or foundation on Monday, said that people were seen running helter-skelter for medicines and drugs during the peak of the second wave of COVID-19.
A Bench of Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice MR Shah refused to entertain a plea of Foundation headed by former Indian team cricketer and BJP MP from Delhi Gautam Gambhir relating to allegations that political parties were indulged in hoarding and illegally distributing COVID-19 medicines.
The Bench said it isn't on for individuals to hoard essential medicine and distribute it to a section of the population when people were running from pillar to post during the second wave of COVID-19.
"You may have done for charity, but if permitted it could lead to a serious discrepancy in drug supply," the apex court said.
"We read the papers. People were going helter-skelter to procure drugs during the second wave. And then suddenly one person started distributing drugs. This is not done," Justice Chandrachud observed.
The top court permitted the Gautam Gambhir Foundation to intervene in the pending proceedings before the Delhi High Court after its senior advocate Kailash Vasdev appearing for the foundation pointed out that the orders were passed without his client being made a party.
"Individuals cannot distribute drugs. We saw how the common man was suffering. This cannot be done," the Bench said and asked the petitioner to withdraw the plea. The petitioner foundation then withdrew the plea.
The Delhi High Court is seized of a petition seeking the lodging of an FIR on the allegations that politicians are able to procure and distribute in huge quantities COVID-19 medicines even as patients were running from pillar to post to get them.
The High Court took strong exception to politicians hoarding medicines that are used for the treatment of COVID-19 and directed the Drug Controller of Delhi to investigate the matter. Later, it pulled up the Drug Controller of Delhi for conducting an "unsatisfactory" inquiry into the matter.
The Drug Controller of Delhi eventually said that Gautam Gambhir Foundation was guilty under provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act for unauthorized purchase and procurement of Fabilflu and oxygen. The High Court then directed that action be taken against the Foundation as well as dealers who made unauthorized sales.
The Delhi High Court is scheduled to hear the matter next on July 29. (ANI)