Bombay High Court Orders Investigation Into the Alleged Illegal Procurements of Remdesivir

Facts

The bench of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and BU Debadwar on Thursday stated that they would not take into consideration any statement given by the District Collector, Dr. Ranjendra Bhosle unless evidence is provided for it.

In the Press hearing, the District Collector claimed that the Remdesivir injections were procured legally. Even an intervention application had been filed by some of the Covid positive patients in support of the actions of the MP. However, this application was rejected by the Court stating that even though the ultimate beneficiaries might have been the patients yet the petition in question was limited to the illegal procurement, transportation, and distribution of 10000 Remdisivir injections by the MP from Delhi to Ahmednagar.

Arguments before the court

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The Learned Advocate appearing for Defendant vehemently said that “how can a people’s representative be blamed for saving the lives of hundreds of patients. The concerned Member of Parliament had saved the lives of many patients and in his endeavour to rescue the patients, he had procured the said injections”.

Advocate Pradnya Talekar from Talekar and Associates representing the Petitioners said that the issue raised in the petition is as to whether the procedure allegedly adopted by the concerned Member of Parliament was a procedure recognized in law. The contentions of these applicants reminded us of an old story of Robinhood when it used to be said that “Robinhood goes out of the way to help the poor”.

Observations by the Court

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The court said, “Though we are not forming a final opinion, prima facie, we are of the view, considering the press conference allegedly held in the premises of the District Collector by him and the receipts placed before us and that these injections have not taken the route from Delhi to Shirdi, the District Collector is attempting to protect the concerned Member of Parliament by holding the press conference.”

The real question according to the court will be whether the MP was in possession and carried a different set of boxes containing Remdesivir injections through the chartered aircraft from Delhi to Shirdi and as to where are these boxes?

The Court had also said that the claims by MP Patil in the video published by him need to be investigated.

Court’s Decision

The Court, Ex-facie, considering the role played by the District Collector, Ahmednagar Dr Rajendra B. Bhosale unless proven otherwise, did not think that they would have any confidence in his role in the investigation.

Providing a chance to the District collector to seek for himself, the court will hold the next hearing on 3rd May 2021, and in the meantime, directed the Principal Secretary to verify the details of the aircraft that carried the boxes of Remdesivir and its landing in Shirdi. The District Superintendent of Police, Ahmednagar was ordered to trace out the boxes containing Remdesivir injections, which admittedly were unloaded by the MP at the Shirdi Airport.

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Click here to view the judgement.


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