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Delhi HC pulls up Drug Controller on prosecuting specific politicians for oxygen hoarding, tells it to prosecute gurudwaras and temples also

Justice Sanghi stated that the bench will give two days time to decide to proceed with respect to the oxygen case but if the Drug Controller chose to, they must prosecute all. He further observed that the idea is not to go against a person, but to help the society

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The Delhi High Court on Thursday granted time to the Drug Controller to submit their Plan of Action regarding prosecution in Oxygen Hoarding/Distribution case after the Gautam Gambhir Foundation and MLA Praveen Kumar probe, wherein both were found guilty of procuring and distributing Fabiflu medicine without the requisite licence.

Upon submissions by Advocate Nandita Rao (Counsel appearing for Drug Controller) regarding investigation pertaining to Distribution of Oxygen and prosecuting Praveen Kumar under Oxygen Case, the Divisional Bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh observed that the court already cleared that it cannot take action pertaining to Distribution of Oxygen, had this been the case the Drug Controller should not just pick up specific Political Party leaders but NGOs, Temples, and Gurudwaras as well.

The Bench further observed that first, it was the case against AAP MLA Imran Hussain who later submitted all the receipts. “If this is the case and someone is on the same footing, how can you (Drug Controller) proceed against them? It seems the drug controller is targeting a few leaders of a political party and the court will not permit this.”

Justice Sanghi stated that the bench will give two days time to decide to proceed with respect to the oxygen case but if the drug controller chose to, they must prosecute all. He further observed that the idea is not to go against a person; the idea is to help society.

Senior Advocate Kailash Vasdev moved an impleadment application on behalf of Gautam Gambhir Foundation (GGF) for an opportunity to hear them in this case, he states that this is not the first time GGF is doing such a thing, it has been in operation since 2012, and these allegations are ruining the reputation of the foundation.

During the last hearing, the court had directed “We are of the view that looking into the acute shortage in medical oxygen during the current wave of Pandemic and shortage of oxygen beds though, technically, procurement of medical oxygen cylinders for personal use may also tantamount to breach of action and rules under the said act. All such cases need not be pursued and the endeavor of the drug controller should be to pursue such violators whose conduct was to choke the supply of relevant drugs and for medical oxygen for bona fide use of oxygen for treatment.”

It was also observed at the last hearing “Ms Nandita Rao has filed a status report in respect of Gautam Gambhir Foundation (GGF) and Praveen Kumar MLA in response to our earlier order. The said status report states in conclusion that certain offenses are committed both at the end of dealers (licensed) and procurers and part of GGF and part of Sh. Praveen Kumar MLA. Mr Chawla, Assistant Drug Controller stated that action would be taken in terms of show-cause notice and as per the said act without any delay. Not only in these particular cases but in other cases as well.”

The matter will be taken up on August 4 for further hearing. 

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