The High Court of Bombay has issued notice to the Serum Institute of India and Microsoft founder Bill Gates on a petition seeking compensation of Rs 1000 crore over death of a girl due to the side effects of Covishield, vaccine made by SII against Covid-19.
The writ petition was filed by one Dilip Lunawat, who claimed that his daughter died after she was administered the vaccine. He made Gates a party to the case, as the Bill Gates Foundation had funded the SII, during the manufacturing of Covishield.
Notice was issued by a Bench comprising Justice S.V. Gangapurwala and Justice Madhav Jamdar on August 26. On behalf of Gates, Advocate Smita Thakur accepted the notice.
According to Dilip Lunawat, Snehal, a medical student, was assured that Covid-19 vaccines were completely safe and did not pose any risk or threat to the body. She was compelled to take vaccine at college since she was a health worker.
Due to the side effects of these vaccines, Snehal passed away on March 1, 2021, added the petitioner.
Lunawat submitted that the Central government’s Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) committee on October 2, 2021 admitted that the death of his daughter was due to the side-effects of Covishield.
He alleged that both the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) and the Director of All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) gave false assurances that the vaccines were safe. Even the state authorities followed them without verification, due to which several other health workers may have been compelled to take the vaccine, added the petitioner.
He sought declaration from the Court that the respondent authorities have callous criminal attitude as till date, they have continued with their narrative that they have treatment for side-effects of the vaccine.
The petition sought directions to the state authorities to pay interim compensation of Rs 1,000 crore, which they could recover from SII Pune.
He further sought directions to the Central government to take appropriate action against social media giants like Google, YouTube and Meta, as they were involved in conspiracy of suppressing correct data about deaths caused due to the side-effects of vaccines.
Filed through Advocates Abhishek Mishra and Deepika Jaiswal, the petition arraigned the following persons/entities as respondents:
- Serum Institute of India (SII) Pvt Ltd through its CEO, Adar Poonawalla;
- Bill Gates;
- Maharashtra government;
- Union of India;
- Ministry of Health & Family Welfare;
- DCGI (VG Somani); and
- Dr. Randeep Guleria (AIIMS Director)