Bombay High Court (Nagpur Bench) Registers Suo Motu Case Against Black-marketing of COVID-19 Drugs 'Remdesivir'
The Bombay High Court (HC) (Nagpur Bench), in Court on its own motion v. The State & Ors. registered a suo motu criminal case against black-marketing of the drug, Remdesivir used to treat COVID-19 patients.
The HC bench comprising of Justices ZA Haq and Amit B Borkar registered a suo motu case based on a news report that was published on 28 April 2021, in the daily newspaper named Hitavada (City Line). It was published in the newspaper that 32 persons that also included doctors were booked by the Nagpur police for black marketing Remdesivir Injections.
It was further mentioned in the report that due to high demand of the drugs that are used for the treatment of COVID-19, many persons related to the hospitals were indulging in 'black marketing of life-saving drug'.
The HC took a note of the said news report and said that in such crisis situation, the Courts cannot be mute spectator and cannot turn Nelson's eye to such incidents which are reported in the newspaper.
The HC bench observed that due to the second wave of Corona across the country, there is a sudden rise of Covid-19 cases, the demand-supply ratio of the Remdesivir Injection, which is a lifesaving drug is exponentially inverse. Due to the huge demand and lack of supply of Remdesivir Injections, the people in urgent need and in particular the lower strata of society are unable to get the lifesaving drug at market price.
While appreciating the initiative of the Nagpur police in booking the offenders, the Court observed that the situation is worsening day-by-day. The concerned authorities are trying their best to regulate the supply of Remdesivir Injections by issuing policy directives to make available Remdesivir Injections.
The HC further stated in its order that at the time of crisis, it is necessary to take certain unprecedented measures to deter such unscrupulous people from indulging in black marketing of life-saving drugs.
It added that the Courts cannot be a mute spectator and to send strong signals to people who may indulge in black marketing of life-saving drug, it is necessary that the investigation and trial of people accused of black marketing of life-saving drug should be taken to conclusion and one of the effective ways is to ensure that the trial is completed in a swift manner.
Based on the aforesaid concerns the HC stated that in the exercise of the powers under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure to secure the ends of justice, stated that considering the reasons stated above, the contents of the newspaper report referred above needs to be registered as Suo Motu Criminal Application.
The matter is posted on 4 May 2021 for further hearing.