Bombay High Court’s Aurangabad Bench took exception to a press conference held by the district collector of Ahmednagar to support BJP MP Sujay Vikhe Patil due to his unauthorized procurement and distribution of the Remdesivir drug
By: Kriti Dubey, Bharati Vidyapeeth New Law College
In the crucial and difficult times of today where the entire country is fighting against the novel CoronaVirus, there comes a case of BJP MP Patil who was alleged to have procured and distributed the essential drug known as Remdesivir illegally. The Court heard the petition seeking the directions towards an F.I.R, where it was put forward that the drug was taken via a chartered flight from Delhi to Shirdi.
It was opined by the Division Bench consisting of Justices Ravindra Ghuge and BU Debhadwar that they don’t have confidence in letting the District Collector Dr. Rajendra Ghosle participate in any investigation-related matters because of him giving the BJP Member of Parliament a “clean chit” as it clearly indicates that the administration has chosen sides.
The Bench also directed the District Superintendent of Police Ahmednagar to unearth the boxes that contained the Remdisivir injections that were unloaded by the M.P. at the Shirdi airport. The principal secretary of the Home Department was also directed to ensure the preservation of the details about the aircraft landings at the Shirdi airport from April 10th to 25th.
In one of the press conferences held by the District Collector, he made the argument about the controversial and much talked about Remdesivir drug procurement and said that it was obtained legally. He made his point by stating that he permitted a civil surgeon to place an order with the manufacturer in Pune. The surgeon gave 7, 56,000 and 1, 81, 44,000 to the manufacturer and in turn, Lok Sabha MP paid the surgeon the required amount, as informed to the court by ADV. Dr. Kale.
Now the issue remains in front of the Bench to know whether these Remdesivir injections were procured illegally or not.
The Bench remarked that the District collector was attempting to protect the concerned. The Bench further added that based on the first expressions we are not forming any prejudice but the press conference took place in the protected premises and the receipts brought forward that asserted that the injections never took the route from Delhi to Shirdi evidenced that the District Collector is attempting to protect the concerned and that the procurement made was legal and most of the injections were handed over to Ahmednagar District Hospital.
The second question that now comes to light is whether BJP M.P. carried different boxes of injections through the chartered aircraft from Delhi to Shirdi and as of now where are these boxes and how can they be traced? There was another question that arose where the authenticity of Patil’s claim was raised about the photographs and video recordings uploaded by the said member of parliament during the air journey and landing at the Shirdi airport and holding get together to hand out the injections, are to be investigated whether they were right or not.
It was specifically made clear by the Court that the photographs and the video recording of the journey are to be kept secured because it was stated in the video by the member of the parliament that he landed in the chartered aircraft at Shirdi airport and unloaded boxes of Remdesivir injections. It was made clear by the court that the loss of such important evidence will not be tolerated.
Some of the patients who got the support from the actions of the MP procuring the drug filed an Intervention application but it got rejected by the High Court stating that it cannot be a Robin Hood situation, a wrong path followed is ultimately termed as impropriety.