The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday granted three weeks additional time to Gujarat BJP chief CR Patil and MLA Harsh Sanghavi to file their reply in connection with the controversy that erupted over the distribution of Remdesivir injection by them in Surat.
Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani has moved the court with a public interest litigation seeking action against the BJP leaders for their act of acquiring, stocking and distributing Remdesivir injection at the time of its acute crisis in the state amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Notably, the counsels for CR Patil and Harsh Sanghavi requested the court to provide additional time to file their response in the matter. The court had earlier issued notice to the BJP leaders as well as the state government seeking their response.
During the hearing on Wednesday, counsel for Dhanani contended that the directions issued by the court on April 20 seeking a response of the commissioner of drugs on the action taken on the representation made by the Opposition leader has not been complied with. The court has instructed the state government to comply with the earlier directions issued by it.
The next hearing of the matter has been kept on June 15.
Contentions against CR Patil, Harsh Sanghavi
The counsel for Dhanani, Anand Yagnik, had earlier submitted that by distributing the Remdesivir injections on a condition of providing COVID Certificate and doctor’s prescription at BJP office in Surat is illegal and violates several provisions of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, Pharmacy Act, and Drugs Control Act.
Yagnik had submitted that an application to take action against CR Patil and others has been made to the commissioner of drugs, Gandhinagar. Yagnik had further submitted that such illegal action of stocking and distributing Remdesivir injection at the Surat BJP office by Patil as well as MLA Harsh Sanghavi should be looked into by the drug commissioner and its status may be provided to the court.
Yagnik had also argued that the Ministry of Health on April 7 and April 10 has issued directions to take stringent action against hoarding/black marketing/overcharging for Remdesivir.
It was also submitted that Patil or Sanghavi or the BJP office at Surat do not possess any legal status under the provisions of Drugs and Cosmetics Act 1940, Pharmacy Act 1948 as well as Drug (Control) Act 1950, to distribute Remdesivir injections after acquiring the same.
He had said that they do not have a license under the Drug and Cosmetics Act nor are they registered pharmacists so as to acquire or purchase Remdesivir injections from the manufacturer or the stockist and thereafter, distribute the same. For all such activities at every stage require a licence as well as registration under the respective laws, he added.
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