Following a controversy over the distribution of Remdesivir injection by Gujarat BJP president CR Patil in Surat, the Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued notice to Patil, BJP MLA Harsh Sanghavi, chief secretary, additional chief secretary (health), Surat collector, Surat police commissioner and drug inspector.
The court has directed them to file their response in the case filed by Congress MLA and Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani. The Congress leader has alleged that Patil and Sanghavi’s move to acquire, stock and distribute Remdesivir injection at the time of its acute crisis in the state owing to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is illegal.
The court after hearing the submissions made by the petitioner’s advocate Anand Yagnik also directed the drug commissioner to clarify what action it has taken on the representation made by Dhanani against CR Patil on April 14. The court also pointed out to the Centre’s diktat not to allow anyone to hoard Remdesivir and to ensure that no black marketing takes place.
The next hearing of the matter is scheduled on May 5.
Contentions against CR Patil
The counsel for Dhanani 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 submitted that an application to take action against CR Patil and others is preferred to the commissioner of drugs, Gandhinagar. Yagnik 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 further submitted that the Ministry of Health on April 7and April 10 has issued directions to take stringent action against hoarding/black marketing/overcharging for Remdesivir.
Yagnik further submitted that Patil or Sanghvi 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 said 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 from 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.
Yagnik further contended that the concerned private respondent has none and therefore their action in question is not only unethical and illegal but medically highly improper and cannot be allowed to go on in any manner whatsoever. If such activities are allowed, even a vegetable and fruit vendor can do charitable activity and distribute Remdesivir injection without consideration, he argued before the court.
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