Would provide security to SII CEO Adar Poonawalla if he asks: Maharashtra government to HC



MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government on Friday told the Bombay High Court that it would provide security to Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII) which manufacturers the Covishield vaccine against COVID-19, if he makes a request.

After the government’s statement, the court disposed of a Public Interest Litigation seeking better protection for the Pune-based industrialist.

The Union government has already provided `Y’ category CRPF protection to Poonawalla.

The HC was hearing a petition filed by advocate Datta Mane, seeking a direction to the Union and State governments to provide ‘Z-plus’ security to Poonawalla after he reportedly said that he was receiving threats over the supply of vaccine.

Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare told a division bench of Justices S S Shinde and N J Jamadar that if Poonawalla sought protection, the state government would provide him adequate security.

“We cannot keep entertaining such petitions. In view of the statement made by the prosecutor, we are of the view that this petition can be disposed of,” the court said.

The bench also noted that the petitioner was seeking protection for a person who may not even be aware of the plea.

“These are personal matters. What if he (Poonawalla) says that he does not want protection or he is not afraid. We cannot go behind the back of people and pass orders,” the court said.

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