DELHI’s DRUG Control Department filed three separate complaints against the former cricketer and foundation of BJP MP Gautam Gambhir and party MPs Aam Aadmi Praveen Kumar and Imran Hussain in a court in Rohini for “unauthorized purchase / purchase, storage and distributionFavipiravir, a drug used to treat Covid-19, and medical oxygen in the second wave.
The complaint against the Gautam Gambhir Foundation, its directors and CEO was filed on July 8 for allegedly violating Article 18 (c) read with Article 27 (b) (ii) of the Medicines and Cosmetics Act , 1940. The complaints were filed with the appointed court of the Metropolitan Magistrate Prithu Raj. Similar complaints have been filed against Hussain and Kumar regarding the distribution of medical oxygen.
The drug control service also suspended in an order the authorization of dealers who sold the drugs to the Foundation, for a period of ten days between July 14 and 23, for allegedly breaking the law and the rules.
Section 18 (c), under which complaints have been filed against all three, prohibits the manufacture and sale of any drug without a license. Violation of this provision may result in a prison sentence of at least three years.
Investigations into complaints alleging violation of the law were carried out by the department pursuant to orders made by the Delhi High Court in a petition filed by Dr Deepak Singh, alleging that a “mafia-politician medical link” existed and that they were engaged in illegal drug distribution during the second wave.
Deputy Drugs Comptroller KR Chawla, while refusing to release information relating to the case, told The Indian Express: “This is a very sensitive issue.”
The drug control department had told the court on June 3 that certain offenses had been committed by the Gautam Gambhir Foundation and members of parliament and that measures would be taken against them.
The division bench of judges Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh observed: “We want to stop this trend. It shouldn’t happen that people are raising just because they have the resource and say we are now going to distribute it to a particular section of society whether they are in my constituency or because I want to gain popularity, I want to prepare for my next election. That shouldn’t be the criterion. We want to curb this and want you to take action to make it a lesson for others to stop engaging in these practices.
The court also said that Gambhir may have acted in a public spirit, but he had to see the pros and cons of his actions. “You might be trying to help people in your riding, but at what cost? To the detriment of those who needed it. You have done charity no doubt but you have also caused a shortage that could not have been felt at this point (otherwise). When real patients needed this drug, they couldn’t get it, ”he said.
The department had told the division bench that it was established that its foundation did not hold any drug license as required by law for the purchase, storage or distribution of drugs.
In May, the court hit the drug control department for giving Gambhir a good shot without a proper investigation into how his foundation was able to procure a Covid-19 drug in bulk, and asked the drug controller to file a better status report.
In his statement dated May 14, Gambhir told Delhi police that the Gautam Gambhir Foundation had organized a free medical camp in Jagriti Enclave from April 22 to May 7 to help people suffering from Covid. The camp remained under the supervision and control of Dr Manish of Garg Hospital, he said in the response.
“A total of 2,628 Fabiflu strips were purchased from authorized vendors against a prescription… given by Dr. Sanjay Garg (Garg Hospital). The respective invoices were obtained by the foundation from the sellers for said purchase, ”Gambhir said, adding that 2,343 strips of the drug had been distributed free of charge to attendants to Covid-19 patients against the prescription produced by them.
However, Garg Hospital later clarified to the service that its role was limited to overseeing the review and verification of prescriptions made by attendants or patients and was not directly or indirectly involved in the supply. the storage and distribution of drugs.
The department also told the court that MP Kumar was involved in the unauthorized purchase or supply and storage of medical oxygen in violation of the law. Kumar had organized a temporary oxygen filling facility from May 4 to 19 in Lajpat Nagar and had completed cylinder filling in Bathinda, Punjab.
A similar complaint was also filed against Hussain for arbitrary distribution of medical oxygen. Although the High Court dismissed the plea against him on May 13, the court later learned that medical oxygen, being a medicine under the law, could not be purchased by any person for the purpose of storage, sale or distribution without the required license.