Delhi High Court lashes out on Drug Controller on the Hoarding of vaccines case

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Recently a  hearing was held in the  Delhi High Court on Monday regarding the hoarding of medicines and vaccines of Covid 19. A complaint had been registered against famous cricketer, and Bharatiya Janata Party Member of the Parliament, Gautam Gambhir, Aam Aadmi Party Member of the Parliament, Praveen Kumar and Preeti Tomar. The said people had been accused of procuring medicines illegally and distributing the same to the people without following any of the protocols laid down by the government. 

The case was being heard by a division bench comprising Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh. 

After hearing the arguments of Advocate Nandita Rao, who appeared on behalf of the Drug controller who was investigating the case, the court remarked that this mode of distribution and illegal hoarding is a part of black-market practices. 

Justice Sanghi was utterly dissatisfied with the report submitted by the drug controller. it had a number of factual inaccuracies and was not according to the format or the norms of the investigation reports that are usually prepared before submitting to the court. The arguments advances were vague and dissatisfactory, according to the bench. 

The honorable Justices remarked that the argument of “good intentions” does not work when we are dealing with legalities. The defense council had pleaded that the Gautam Gambhir Foundation had procured the medicines with the best of intentions to distribute them to the people who need the same. This exercise had taken place without any legal paperwork or any prior permission from the government. If breaking of rules and laws are subjected to the intentions of people, then it will be extremely difficult to maintain the order of the day, especially under such difficult times. 

Another point noted by the bench was that, due to the factual fallacies in the investigation report, the court had a tough time, fathoming the potholes in the case. Therefore, the Drug controller had to be sued for malpractices. The court has ordered a further report submission under a different supervision and the current executive has been ordered to be suspended. 

The court remarked that it is not the responsibility of private individuals to decide the modes of distribution of items that are under the control of the government. There are government officials who are working day and night to make the medicines available to as many people as possible according to their needs and priorities. Unless permitted b y the government, or unless a notification from the judiciary instructs one to get involved, meddling with the state affairs will be considered illegal and worthy of punishment. 

The investigation needs to be done carefully and in an unbiased manner lest the court has to spend extra hours in inspecting the functioning of the authorities that are themselves in charge of dealing with the maintenance of law and order.With a motive to be more stringent regarding the fair and lawful distribution of the covid vaccines and medicines, the Delhi High Court has decided to hear the case on a further date: 3rd June.

Sneha Mukherjee
I am Sneha Mukherjee from Symbiosis Law School Noida, currently pursuing a BA.LLB. I am a self-motivated person with an optimistic approach to life and a rational brain. I love to think, analyse and articulate my opinions without fear or favour. With a keen interest in learning, growing and persevering, I take a small step each day to realise my dreams and ambitions.