Gautam Gambhir, Cricketer-turned-politician and an MLA from Bharatiya Janata Party, his Foundation has been found guilty of unauthorized stocking, procuring and distributing Fabiflu medicine to COVID-19 patients, the Delhi High Court was informed by the Delhi government’s drug controller on Thursday.
The drug controller submitted that action will be taken without delay against the foundation, drug dealers as also in other such cases which would be brought to its notice.
MLA Praveen Kumar has also been found guilty for similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, the court was informed. The court asked the drug controller to file status reports on further progress in these cases within six weeks and listed the matter for hearing on July 29.
Appearing for the drug controller, advocate Nandita Rao said the cricketer’s group, Gautam Gambhir Foundation, committed an offence under Drugs and Cosmetics Act as it was found stocking medicine in an unauthorized manner.
MLA Praveen Kumar also found Guilty
The court asked Rao whether the status report submitted by the drug controller was in relation to Gambhir only or “does it relate to Praveen Kumar also?”
“Status report deals with MLA Praveen Kumar also and we have found him guilty too,” Rao said in a response to the court.
The court was hearing the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Deepak Kumar, seeking a first information report (FIR) against Gautam Gambhir and others involved in the matter.
Further speaking on the matter, the court said that the drug controller made the amendment to the report which clearly shows that it was “trying to protect these people.” “When we rapped you then you came out with the truth. It is clearly evident… Don’t put a brave face today. We find that you had made a mistake and the good thing is that you have rectified your mistake,” it said during the hearing.
“We want to curb these practice,” it also said, adding, “Just because some people have money and they can easily buy, does not mean that they would be hoarding.”
Court’s Strong statement on Gautam Gambhir
“You (Gautam Gambhir) did a charity and tried to help the people, but in that you caused a shortage because of which genuine patients could not get the medicine. There could have been other ways of helping people,” the court also said.
The high court had earlier rejected the drug controller’s status report as ‘trash’ on how BJP MP Gautam Gambhir got huge quantities of Fabiflu.
“You can’t take us for a ride. If you think we are so gullible, so naive, we are not,” the Delhi High Court told the drug controller on Monday for not properly examining how BJP MP Gautam Gambhir procured a huge quantity of COVID-19 drug Fabiflu and said people’s tendency to appear as saviours have to be denounced.
The high court took strong exception to the drug controller’s report, which concluded that the dealers had ample stock to supply to others, and said everyone knows that the medicine was in short supply and while Gambhir bought thousands of strips of the medicine, other people who needed it could not get it on that day.
“Please don’t tell us there is no shortage. We know there was a shortage. You don’t have to swallow the report. You have to question your officers. You (drug controller) are wrong to say it was not in short supply. You want us to shut our eyes. You think you would get away with this.”
Advocate Nandita Rao, representing the drug controller, said Gambhir through his Gautam Gambhir Foundation (GGF) had organised a medical camp from 22 April to May 7 with the help of Sanjay Garg Hospital and that there was no prescription but a request letter of the hospital was sent to the foundation.