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Unimaginable That At Time Of Humanitarian Crisis, People Are Committing Such Frauds: Bombay HC On Fake Covid Vaccination Drives In Mumbai

Sharmeen Hakim
22 Jun 2021 10:12 AM GMT
Unimaginable That At Time Of Humanitarian Crisis, People Are Committing Such Frauds: Bombay HC On Fake Covid Vaccination Drives In Mumbai
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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday took serious note of a series of Covid-19 vaccination frauds in Mumbai and directed the police to submit a status report on their investigation into these scams by Thursday. The court also asked the Maharashtra Government and BMC to inform the court about the "procedure to be adopted by housing societies, to ensure that such fake vaccination drives are...

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The Bombay High Court on Tuesday took serious note of a series of Covid-19 vaccination frauds in Mumbai and directed the police to submit a status report on their investigation into these scams by Thursday.

The court also asked the Maharashtra Government and BMC to inform the court about the "procedure to be adopted by housing societies, to ensure that such fake vaccination drives are not undertaken."

"It is unimaginable that during this time of crisis, when entire humanity is suffering, people are committing such frauds," the bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni observed.

"Invoke provisions of the Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act against those involved in vaccine fraud. Imagine the plight of the person who is vaccinated with water... his state of mind is unimaginable" it added.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish Kulkarni was hearing a PIL filed by advocate and activist - Siddharth Chandrashekhar – on the difficulties faced by senior citizens in getting vaccinated.

The petitioner filed an affidavit through advocate Anita Castellino pointing out the fraudulent vaccination camp held in Hiranandani Heritage Housing Society at Kandivali (West), Mumbai, where over 390 of its members were vaccinated.

A group of five persons were booked and arrested by Kandivali police station last week regarding the fraud.

He also pointed out another fraud immunization camp held at Tips Industries where Bollywood producer Ramesh Taurani paid Rs. 1200 per dose of vaccine, plus GST to have over 365 employees vaccinated, but haven't received their vaccination certificates, and in some cases fraudulent vaccination certificates have been generated and issued.

The court said that the state should not delay investigations into vaccination frauds and treat such instances with utmost seriousness.

The bench further sought to know from the State and BMC whether they can put a system in place to keep track of the vaccines being released to organizers of camps at schools, corporate houses, residential societies with the help of health officials or ward health officers.

Some level of government control is required, the bench said, adding there is an urgent need to form guidelines. It further noted that such instances are mainly prevalent in the western suburbs.

" Let BMC and state govt form policy on SOS basis so that no innocent persons suffer. This is happening only in western suburbs… We have to unearth the racket. Who is the kin pin indulged in defrauding people in such a novel way?" the chief justice observed.

BMC's counsel Senior advocate Anil Sakhare said that the police had already started their probe into the issue and said that the BMC was also taking necessary steps in the matter.


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