SC slams Gautam Gambhir Foundation; refuses to stay prosecution

n June, the Delhi government drug controller had informed the Delhi High Court that Gautam Gambhir's foundation has been found guilty of non-authorized stocking.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday slammed the Gautam Gambhir Foundation and refused to stay the prosecution in connection with an inquiry initiated by the drugs controller for allegedly stocking and distributing Covid drugs during the second wave.

A bench comprising justices D.Y. Chandrachud and M.R. Shah said: “We have our eye on the ground, people were running helter-skelter to procure medicines, oxygen cylinders, etc. (amid the second wave). Suddenly a group of people come and say we will distribute drugs.”

Justice Shah added common people were running from pillar to post to procure these medicines during the second wave.

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The bench emphasized that it isn’t for individuals to hoard essential medicine and distribute it to a section of the population, otherwise everybody will procure and distribute these drugs. “You may have done it for charity, but if permitted it could lead to serious discrepancy in drug supply,” added the bench.

The top court allowed the foundation to intervene in the pending proceedings before the Delhi High Court after senior advocate Kailash Vasdev, representing the foundation, pointed out that orders were passed without making his client a party. However, when Vasdev pressed for stay on the prosecution of his client in the matter, the top court refused to entertain this submission.

The top court also declined to entertain a plea by the foundation challenging the Delhi High Court order based on which the drug controller had inquired, and prima facie found the foundation and the AAP MLAs guilty of hoarding essential drugs and asked it to move the high court.

In June, the Delhi government drug controller had informed the Delhi High Court that Gautam Gambhir’s foundation has been found guilty of non-authorized stocking, procuring and distributing Fabiflu medicine to Covid-19 patients.

The drug controller informed the high court that action will be taken against Gambhir’s foundation, drug dealers as well as other such cases which are brought to its notice. The drug controller had also informed the court that MLA Praveen Kumar has also been found guilty of similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act. The high court asked the drug controller to submit a status report on the progress made in these cases within six weeks and posted the matter for further hearing on July 29.

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