14 Jan 2023 4:11 AM GMT
Four million lives have been saved using vaccines, Covishield manufacturer Serum Institute of India told the Bombay High Court on Friday while responding to allegations that the vaccine is harmful. The submission was made before a bench of Justice Riyaz Chagla during the hearing a Rs. 100 crore defamation suit filed by SII and its CEO Adar Poonawala against a social media influencer...
Four million lives have been saved using vaccines, Covishield manufacturer Serum Institute of India told the Bombay High Court on Friday while responding to allegations that the vaccine is harmful.
The submission was made before a bench of Justice Riyaz Chagla during the hearing a Rs. 100 crore defamation suit filed by SII and its CEO Adar Poonawala against a social media influencer and another individual and restrain them from posting defamatory content against the company.
"People who are responsible for saving four million lives are now being branded as mass murderers. You may have your views but you can't publish it in this manner," Senior Advocate Aspi Chinoy submitted on Friday.
As per official data, 12 deaths have been allegedly reported after 2 Crore Nineteen Lakh vaccines of Covishield being administered.
“It should show that by far the benefits far outweigh the effects of the (Covishield) vaccine,” he said. It was further submitted that after examining the AEFI data, the MoHFW issued an advisory which stated that there was only a miniscule but definitive risk of thromboembolic events and that the reporting rate was around 0.61/million doses.
Chinoy pointed out that the defamatory statements were made by the defendant Yohan Tengra on his YouTube channel. He submitted that a petition filed in the Bombay HC by a Pune doctor who lost his daughter, one in the Supreme Court and two others filed in the Kerala HC were being used by the defendants to start a “smear campaign.”
The defamatory content was also read out wherein the plaintiffs were referred to as ‘murderers’ and ‘criminals.’
However, no adverse orders have been passed in any of the petitions, he said.
Justice Chagla sought to know if the defendant was a petitioner in any of the pleas seeking compensation to which Chinoy responded in the negative. Reckless independent statements were made on social media, he said.
Advocate Nilesh Ojha for the defendants said that his clients were taking the defence of truth. Moreover, he had filed two counter applications alleging concealment in the suit and insisted on being heard first. The matter finally went on after Justice Chagla assured Ojha that he wouldn’t pass orders on the petitioner’s ad-interim application till he was heard.
Ojha claimed that according to a study, the vaccine increased the risk of death and cancer. “Because of 1 death (by the vaccine), 21 countries in Europe banned the product and here my friend wants to glorify it,” he said.
Justice Chagla said that those who have taken the vaccine did so voluntarily. In response, Ojha said that the Maharashtra Government mandated vaccines for citizens for local train travel. Ojha argued that SII completely distanced itself when the doctor from Pune kept asking the company for medication before his daughter lost her life.
The court will now continue to hear the plea for interim reliefs next week.