18 July 2021 7:21 AM GMT
A Special Leave Petition (SLP) has been filed yesterday in the Supreme Court against the Calcutta High Court order dated July 9 whereby the Calcutta High Court had dismissed a plea seeking Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case of Covid-19 vaccination camps in Kolkata. The accused Debanjan Deb had allegedly been operating Covid-19 vaccination camps in Kolkata by masquerading...
A Special Leave Petition (SLP) has been filed yesterday in the Supreme Court against the Calcutta High Court order dated July 9 whereby the Calcutta High Court had dismissed a plea seeking Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe in the case of Covid-19 vaccination camps in Kolkata. The accused Debanjan Deb had allegedly been operating Covid-19 vaccination camps in Kolkata by masquerading as an IAS officer associated with the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
A Bench comprising Justice IP Mukerji and Justice Aniruddha Roy had opined that a CBI probe was no longer necessary as the concerned State investigative authorities had 'woken up' and meticulous investigation was being carried out.
In the SLP filed yesterday by petitioner Ajit Kumar Mishra, the petitioner contended that the High Court had failed to appreciate the fact that an impartial investigation would not be possible since the instant case involved the alleged participation of many senior and influential leaders of the All India Trinamool Congress Party (TMC) including the Department of Health and Family Welfare headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee herself.
"It is submitted that the High Court has failed to appreciate that the instant case is an example of deep rooted conspiracy having very serious ramifications. The possibility of an administration being run parallel to that of the government of West Bengal by a consortium of influential people connected to corridors of power under the aegis of a particular political party being the ruling political party of West Bengal cannot be ruled out", the plea contended.
Averments in the plea:
Alleged conspiracy involving high profile TMC leaders:
In the plea it was submitted that the High Court had failed to appreciate the gravity of the offence considering the huge risk posed to public health due to the grave violation of public duty by the concerned State authorities. Since in the instant case the KMC is also allegedly involved, the State police authorities would be unable to conduct a fair and unbiased investigation, the petitioner submitted.
Further, the petitioner alleged that on the day the fake vaccination camp was discovered and subsequently covered by different media channels, various TMC leaders had given statements opining that the vaccination administered in the concerned camp was indeed fake. This conclusion was reached by the leaders without any investigation being conducted and in the absence of any government authorized laboratory report. This indicates that the TMC leaders had prior knowledge of such a conspiracy and they intended to conceal a huge scam relating to illegal procurement of Covid-19 vaccines, the petitioner submitted.
"Your petitioner submit that these was done to cover up the real issues and to save the real culprits related with the incident", the plea contended.
Alleged scam pertaining to Covid-19 vaccine procurement:
Further, the plea stated that currently the West Bengal State government is operating a separate vaccination portal called 'Benvex' and certificates issued by the portal are considered 'invalid' by the nationally recognized Co-WIN portal. Thus the petitioner opined,
"The State Government, in spite having knowledge that the certificate of vaccination issued from the said Benvex portal will not be valid in other States and Countries, started this App, is the portal being use to misappropriate the vaccines being supplied by the Central Government to the State free of cost for benefit of private hospitals and TMC leaders"
It was also contended in the plea that the alleged lapse of duty by the State authorities resulted in the violation of fundamental rights of citizens and that a delay in ordering a free and impartial probe by the CBI would result in a serious miscarriage of justice and destruction of vital evidence.
Accordingly, the plea prayed for the Apex Court to issue directions for an immediate CBI probe.
"That proper and fair investigation on the part of the investigating officer is the backbone of the rule of law. A proper and effective investigation into a serious issue of public health and safety where high officials of the state have prima facie involvement coupled with huge financial scam, independent and fair investigation only reveal the truth", the plea averred.
The SLP has been filed through Advocates Subhashish Bhowmick and Manisha Pandey.
Case Title: Ajit Kumar Mishra v. Union of India and Ors
Also Read: Fake Vaccination Camp Case: Calcutta High Court Directs State To File Report