27 April 2021 9:51 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday questioned the Centre about private individuals procuring anti-viral drug, Remdesivir, directly from the manufacturer and distributing it, when companies are expected to provide stocks directly to the Centre. The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni was referring to the petition filed by four agriculturists before...
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday questioned the Centre about private individuals procuring anti-viral drug, Remdesivir, directly from the manufacturer and distributing it, when companies are expected to provide stocks directly to the Centre.
The division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice GS Kulkarni was referring to the petition filed by four agriculturists before the Aurangabad Bench seeking an FIR against Dr. Sujay Vikhe Patil, BJP Member of Parliament from the Ahmednagar Constituency for the alleged unauthorized procurement and distribution of 10, 000 Remdesivir injections.
"There is a news report that a politician bought and distributed 10,000 vials to Ahmednagar from Delhi by a chartered plane? How is this possible? Delhi itself is in crisis. Doesn't this amount to private distribution by the person?" the observed, adding, that there is a need to increase surveillance.
When the Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh tried to say that it was merely a news report, the bench remarked that it was not just media reports, the politician himself had posted about the procurement on social media.
The court said it was aware that the Aurangabad bench was already seized of the but sought a response from the ASG, observing that they would be forced to take action if more manufacturers are found providing drugs to private individuals.
"If we find other instances where private manufacturers are giving Remdisivir directly to individuals we may pass an injunction order against such manufacturers."
The bench orally sought details of the incident.
The Court was hearing two PILs, on the improper management of the covid-19 crisis in Maharashtra. The first petition is filed by advocate Sneha Marjari, represented by advocates Simil Purohit and Arshil Shah, and the second by Nilesh Navlakha, represented by advocate Rajesh Inamdar.
During the last hearing, the bench had passed several directions regarding the availability of Remdesivir injection, oxygen, and bed availability and asked the State and Centre to file their responses by May 4. However, the bench took up the matter, on Tuesday, to assess if these directions had been complied with.
On Tuesday, the bench asked the State if a nodal officer was appointed for the distribution of Remdesivir. When the State responded that it was yet to be done, the court observed.
"Order was passed on April 27, we work beyond midnight to get it uploaded. How long does it take to provide a nodal agent and a 24/7 number?"
When the court was informed that several gas crematoriums were not functional, they asked the State Government to order all district collectors to ensure effective dead-body management and give details about the steps taken to improve the condition of crematoriums.
"Why don't you take steps to make all gas crematoriums operational? "- J Kulkarni said, he added that the crematorium in Walkeshwar was not working.
It can't be that people are kept waiting for cremation, for this you will also have to seek the position of the mortuaries, the bench further observed.
To check if ICU beds were available, the Court asked Advocate Purohit to call the BMC's helpline number and check.
Purohit called the number and was directed to contact the war room, which sought further details of the patient to be admitted. Advocate Arshil Shah then pointed out a social media tweet to highlight the lack of availability of ICU beds.
The bench will now hear the matter on Thursday.