Hope COVID-19 medicines are not hoarded for political gains: Delhi HC

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Representative Image

New Delhi [India], May 17 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Monday said that the political leaders have no business to use the pandemic time for their personal benefits and expressed hope that medicines used for the treatment of COVID-19 are not hoarded for "political gains".

While hearing a petition, a Division Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh said that it hopes medicines are not hoarded for political gains and political party has no business to use the pandemic time for their personal benefits.

"We hope and expect Delhi Police to conduct a proper investigation into the hoarding of medicines," the High Court said.

The Bench said that these medicines be surrendered to the Director-General of Health Services for distribution to government hospitals and poor and needy people.

"Have you realised that how many people died due to lack of medicines because of hoardings?" the Bench asked.

The High Court asked Delhi Police to file a status report and listed the matter for next week. It also asked the Delhi Police counsel to bring the affidavit on record. Delhi Police has urged the High Court to grant six weeks more time to conduct the probe.

The Court expressed unhappiness while giving more time to the police and said that it has already given enough time. It said that citizens are suffering due to such hoarding practice.

The Delhi High Court asked Delhi Police to found out from where they (pare getting this medicine. It said people should act responsibly and they can not hoard things and distribute them on the pretext of goodwill.

The High Court asked how Lok Sabha MP Gautam Gambhir managed to get such large quantities from chemists during such shortage.

The Bench said that it won't direct seizure since it is a legal exercise to be carried out by police and said that leaders should correct themselves.

Delhi Police told the High Court that they are conducting inquiry and sought six weeks time to complete a probe on a petition alleging medical mafia-politicians nexus indulging in black-marketing of Covid-19 medicines.

Delhi Police in its interim status report filed in High Court said that the inquiry conducted so far has revealed that all the persons alleged to have been hoarding medicine have been actually helping people in getting medical aid in the form of medicine, oxygen, plasma or hospital bed.

"The person enquired into has not charged any money for the help provided and thus no one has been defrauded. The distribution/help has been voluntary and without discrimination," the police said.

Delhi Police has told Delhi High that it has found nothing against various leaders including BJP leader Gautam Gambhir and Congress's Srinivas in alleged hoarding cases and said that they have been actually helping people in getting medical aid in form of medicine, oxygen, plasma or hospital bed.

In compliance with the High Court's order dated May 4, the Delhi Police said it has conducted inquiry on Gautam Gambhir, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Chaudhary Anil Kumar, Congress leader Mukesh Sharma, BJP leader Harish Khurana, AAP MLA Dilip Pandey, Congress leaders Ali Mehdi, Ashok Baghel and Srinivas.

The Court was hearing a petition filed by Deepak Singh through advocate Gaurav Pathak.

Advocate Virag Gupta, appearing for the petitioner, urged the High Court to issue direction to register FIR and investigation into the medical mafia-politicians nexus by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), to issue direction to detent persons indulging in black-marketing of Covid-19 medicines as per National Security Act, 1980 and to direct for disqualification of MPs and MLAs found to be hoarding and illegally distributing Covid-19 medicines.

"That the country is going through the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic and the public is being made to run from pillar to post to avail critical medicines such as Remdesivir. At the same time, politicians of all political parties are able to gather huge stocks of the same, even as they do not have the required permissions under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and other specialized provisions for the same," the petition said. (ANI)