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Sucheta Dalal, Anjali Damania Move Bombay HC To Curb Black Marketing & Hoarding Of N95 Masks, Sanitizers, Gloves Etc

Sanya Talwar
19 May 2020 1:29 PM GMT
Sucheta Dalal, Anjali Damania Move Bombay HC To Curb Black Marketing & Hoarding Of N95 Masks, Sanitizers, Gloves Etc
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A PIL has been moved before the Bombay High Court seeking directions qua black marketing, hoarding and profiteering of N95 masks in Maharashtra as well as to ensure sufficient availability of surgical masks and other masks at fair prices.The plea has been filed by Sucheta Dalal, a business journalist and Anjali Damania, an anti-corruption activist and states that even though the...

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A PIL has been moved before the Bombay High Court seeking directions qua black marketing, hoarding and profiteering of N95 masks in Maharashtra as well as to ensure sufficient availability of surgical masks and other masks at fair prices.

The plea has been filed by Sucheta Dalal, a business journalist and Anjali Damania, an anti-corruption activist and states that even though the several directions were passed by the central government in order to control the prices and exports of the N95 masks and hand sanitizers and they were declared an "essential commodity" under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, 

"The State of Maharashtra has failed to take any measures to ensure sufficient availability of surgical masks and other masks, hand sanitizers and gloves at prices not exceeding the maximum retail prices" - Excerpt from Petition

The plea states that despite directions passed by the Ministry of Chemical Fertilizers vide order dated 13.03.2020 "to ensure sufficient availability of masks, hand santizers and gloves at fair prices" & Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution vide order dated 13.03.2020 5 to "include masks (2ply & 3ply surgical masks, N95 masks) and hand sanitizers in the Schedule to the Essential Commodities Act, 1955", black marketing and hoarding subsists.

The petitioners have highlighted the shocking and rampant black marketing of N95 masks which they witnessed why they sought to acquire N95 masks so that they could be supplied to government, municipal and charitable hospitals.

"Petitioners assumed that all the N95 masks that were being produced by the aforesaid manufacturers were being acquired by the Government of India and State of Maharashtra and thus, these companies had no stock to sell to the Petitioners. But, to the Petitioners shock and surprise soon after the Petitioners were stonewalled by Respondent No.10 Company they started receiving unsolicited messages from multiple dealers and traders offering to sell to the Petitioners' organizations the N95 masks at a markup of over 150%" - Excerpt

In light of the above, the petitioners have averred that not only are these dealers illegally profiteering on the said N95 masks but are also issuing "invoices" to this effect.

The petition further avers that the masks are also freely available at free mark up price and that the "acts of hoarding and profiteering have worsened an an already dire situation"

In this backdrop, the petitioner "seeks relief qua the black marketeering, hoarding and profiteering of N95 masks in the State of Maharashtra despite N95 masks being declared as essential commodity under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and the directions to the Respondent to take adequate measures to ensure that sufficient availability of surgical and N95 masks at fair prices as should be laid down by the Union of India in exercise of its power under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955"

Click Here To Download Petition

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