Cases dropped against politicians regarding covid and oxygen supply

  • | Friday | 6th August, 2021

The court said the department had taken a “very fair approach” in prosecuting people over procurement and supply of medical oxygen. It disposed of a PIL saying no further orders were required in the matter.

A lot of fuss has been created regarding the oxygen supply in Delhi and many politicians were involved in cases.

The drug controller for the capital on Thursday informed Delhi High Court that it had decided to withdraw cases against political functionaries and “good Samaritans” who procured and distributed oxygen during the brutal Covid wave in April-May.

Taking a hint from some strong observations made by the court on the last hearing where it had grilled the department for going after such people, the drug controller through minister Satyendar Jain conveyed its stand to the court. “That is the right approach,” a bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh remarked, appreciating the stand taken by the department.

The court said the department had taken a “very fair approach” in prosecuting people over procurement and supply of medical oxygen. It disposed of a PIL saying no further orders were required in the matter.

The PIL filed at the peak of the second wave had sought investigation into allegations that politicians were able to procure Covid-19 medicines in huge quantities and distribute them even as patients were running from pillar to post to get them.

An application was also filed seeking to prosecute those who procured and distributed oxygen cylinders. However, dismissing the pleadings, the court pointed out, “In Delhi, during April and May, citizens had nowhere to go and there were no hospitals available. There would be at least 50,000 to one lakh such people who tried to get hold of oxygen, apart from NGOs, gurdwaras and good Samaritans.” It wondered if the petitioner wanted the drug controller to book all of them.

Senior advocate Rahul Mehra, representing Delhi government, said they had decided not to launch any prosecution against social organisations, individuals and gurdwaras that had procured and distributed medical oxygen to Covid-19 patients free of cost and without any wrongful intention.

On the last date, the court had also taken strong exception to the drug controller targeting functionaries of a particular political party, who as good Samaritans arranged oxygen for patients when both the Centre and Delhi government had failed to provide it.

It had also distinguished such cases with that of cricketer-turned-politician and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir who had procured, stocked and distributed huge quantities of Fabiflu medicine to covid-19 patients.


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