The Madhya Pradesh high court’s Indore bench on Thursday overturned two people’s detention under the National Security Act for black marketing Remdesivir injections and made harsh remarks against the district magistrate for “mechanically passing the detention orders by cut copying the reasons” from another FIR.
While setting aside the detention of Shubham Parmar and Bhupendra Parmar, a division bench of Justice Sujoy Paul and Justice Shailendra Shukla noted that the detention orders by the district magistrate were based on recommendations from the superintendent of police, which showed allegations against both detainees related to black marketing of Remdesivir injection.
According to the detention orders, one of the Remdesivir shots they were given contained distilled water. The bench noted, “There is no iota of finding regarding the usage of distilled water in Remdesivir injection.”
Arguments before the Court
Shubham Parmar and Bhupendra Parmar – a medical representative and a homeopath, respectively – owned Remdesivir for a Covid-19 positive relative who had been lawfully prescribed the prescription, according to petitioner’s lawyer Rishi Tiwari.
Their advocate Rishi Tiwari said that while the SP’s letter, which formed the basis for the order, only spoke about black marketing, the DM “copy-pasted the observation” listed in the case of the main accused Nilesh Chouhan — recovery of the vial containing distilled water.
He also stated that in the detention order, the district magistrate had not mentioned that the petitioners had the right to prefer representation to the District Magistrate against the detention order. This in turn amounted to the deprivation of the right of representation of the petitioners going against the president set by Kamleshkumar Ishwardas Patel v/s Union of India & Others.
Observations by the Court
The court observed that the detention orders passed by the magistrate were based only on the information given by the police superintendent. There was no evidence of finding that the Remdesevir injections contained distilled water as alleged by the magistrate in the detention order.
“It’s difficult to say where the district magistrate got this information. The district magistrate’s decision-making process appears to be flawed, and the court noted that “this conclusion of recovery of Remdesivir injection filled with distilled water against present detention is without any justification.”
The court further stated that the district magistrate’s determination that one of the Remdesivir vials was filled with distilled water was “baseless.”
“We condemn the district magistrate’s action of automatically passing detention orders by cutting and pasting the reasons from the FIR of another person, Nilesh Chouhan” (arrested in Rajendra Nagar police station area for black marketing Remdesivir). The bench stated that the district magistrate’s mechanical activity violates the constitutional scheme enshrined in Articles 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India, as well as the requirements of the NSA Act.
It was held that the petitioners deserved to succeed as the petitioners were not made aware of their rights and thus, the impugned judgment of the district magistrate was set aside.
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