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SC refuses to entertain PIL seeking directions to prevent sale of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines

ANI | Updated: Feb 11, 2021 13:27 IST

New Delhi [India], February 11 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain public interest litigation (PIL) seeking directions under the Disaster Management Act to prevent the sale of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccines, and asked the petitioner to file a fresh one, with "concrete facts" in the matter.
"We understand your motivation. You file a fresh case with concrete facts. We cannot issue general directions. We are not the legislature," a three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde said.
If you want to give concrete facts, then the case may be a different one, Bobde said.
The top court granted liberty to the petitioner to withdraw the plea and file a fresh one, with "concrete facts."
The PIL was filed before the top court by lawyer Vishal Tiwari, seeking a direction to the Union of India (UOI) and others, to issue strict guidelines and regulations under Disaster Management Act by constituting a special committee to prevent the chances of fake and counterfeit Corona vaccine selling/circulating by any organisation, company, online apps.
Tiwari, in his Public Interest Litigation (PIL), sought a direction that the respondents, including the Centre, be directed to run the awareness program for the safety of the citizens against the danger of counterfeit vaccination of corona.
He sought a direction that the respondents to enact a strict law against the criminal act committed by selling or circulating the counterfeit corona vaccine by any organisation or Individual.

The petitioner cited that the corona pandemic took the entire world into its captivity.
The petition stated that all countries started research for its cure. After several months of a research programme conducted some countries are successful in inventing the vaccine against the infection of coronavirus.
"The United Kingdom gained the first position in launching the Anti corona vaccine programme for its citizens. It authorized the Pfizer Drug making company for Anti corona vaccination. The Right to Health care, Right to Safe Health and Right to life enshrined under Article 21 guarantees the protection from fake treatment during this pandemic," the petition said.
The petition further stated that the Interpol has issued an orange notice to its all member countries and has warned that now along with the corona vaccination programme several criminal organizations will be active and will circulate and sell the counterfeit or fake vaccine.
This criminal act will be carried out by both modes, physically and online. Many websites will be active in committing such fraud, Tiwari stated in his plea.
The petition said that people can be easily be attracted by them (illegal and anti-social elements) as the present pandemic has created a situation of fear and uncertainty, so people in intention to save their lives from the deadly virus can easily fall prey in the hands of such criminal organisations intent to sell the forged vaccine and make a huge profit, the petition said.
"India is a vast country having huge population. It can be a big place of profit for criminal organisations and companies as it can be made a market for selling counterfeit and fake corona vaccine. Such organisations adopt a very smart technique of publicity which can attract several innocent citizens of our nation for buying the vaccine."
Tiwari in his petition said that online fraud has become a regular criminal act committed and the nation is also facing this challenge. Under the Disaster Management Act, both the Centre and States have the power to prevent the epidemic and take necessary steps for the safety of the citizens. The protection of citizens from fake and counterfeit Anti corona vaccine is also a task covered under this act.
If the criminal organisations succeed in committing such act then it may lead to chaos and big imbalance as it will affect negatively the vaccination programme of government and instead of cure will bring more disastrous effects, he stated in his petition. (ANI)