Covid drugs case: Prosecution launched against Gautam Gambhir Foundation, two AAP MLAs 



NEW DELHI:  Delhi’s drugs control department has told the Delhi High Court that it has launched prosecution against Gautam Gambhir Foundation and AAP MLAs, Imran Hussain and Praveen Kumar, before a court for allegedly illegally stocking and distributing Covid drugs during the infection’s second wave.

Based on inquires made by the investigating team, a prosecution in the court of law was launched against Gautam Gambhir Foundation, its trustees and CEO on July 8 for “contravening the provisions of section 18(c) read with section 27(b)(ii) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940”, the Delhi Drugs Control Department (DDCD) said in a response which was in the form of a status report.

Cricketer-turned-politician and BJP leader Gautam Gambhir is one of the trustees.

Section 18(c) prohibits manufacture, sale distribution of drugs without a licence and Section 27(b)(ii) makes sale, distribution without valid licence punishable with imprisonment for a term, not be less than three years but which may extend to five years and with fine.

The prosecution against Kumar is for similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, according to the response submitted by the DDCD.

The prosecution has been filed before the court of Metropolitan Magistrate Pritu Raj, Rohini Courts, against Gautam Gambhir Foundation and Kumar, it said.

After giving an opportunity to submit their explanation, the sales licenses of dealers and retailers who sold favipiravir tablets, a COVID-19 drug, and medical oxygen to Gautam Gambhir Foundation for running a medical camp have also been suspended for 10 days for contravening the provisions of the law, it submitted.

Hussain, who allegedly stocked and distributed medical oxygen without holding requisite licence under the law, is also facing prosecution for similar offences.

The status report was filed in a PIL seeking lodging of an FIR on the allegations that politicians are able to procure and distribute in huge quantities COVID-19 medicines even as patients were running from pillar to post to get them.

On June 3, Delhi’s drug controller had told the high court that Gambhir Foundation was found guilty of unauthorised stocking, procuring and distributing fabiflu medicine to COVID-19 patients.

The high court deprecated the manner in which a huge quantity of the drug was procured and said genuine patients who needed the medicine at that particular time could not get it as the bulk stock was taken away by Gambhir.

The drug controller also submitted that action will be taken without delay against the foundation, drug dealers as also in other such cases which would be brought to its notice.

AAP MLA Kumar has also been found guilty for similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and action will also be taken against him, the court was informed.

The counsel for drug controller also said that show-cause notices have been issued to licensees under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act as well as those who were found to have breached the law and their responses are awaited.

The court had, on an earlier occasion, pulled up the drug controller for not conducting a proper enquiry as to how Gambhir got the huge quantities of Fabiflu.

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