Drug hoarding case: 'Nothing to suggest anyone seeking any assistance from Gautam Gambhir'

Drug hoarding case: Nothing to suggest anyone seeking any assistance from Gautam Gambhir

New Delhi: The Delhi Drug Control Department has told the Delhi High Court that BJP MP Gautam Gambhir and his foundation should not have illegally purchased, stocked, and distributed COVID-19 drugs without license during the second wave of the pandemic and there is nothing to suggest that any person approached the cricketer-turned-politician for any assistance.

The department also said there is nothing to suggest that the state authorities failed to address any shortage of COVID-19 drugs.

It asserted that Favipiravir tablets and medical oxygens are drugs that cannot be purchased for the purpose of stocking or sale or distribution by any persons/firm without holding the requisite license and it was unfortunate that the BJP leader was abusing the process of the court to raise political slogans.

In its affidavit in response to a petition by Gambhir and others against the criminal proceedings under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, the department has submitted that the petitioners are well aware that an investigation was carried out against them in furtherance of the orders passed by the high court on complaints made by the public.

Drug Control Department had filed a complaint against the Member of Parliament from East Delhi, his foundation Gautam Gambhir Foundation, its CEO Aprajita Singh, his mother and wife, Seema Gambhir and Natasha Gambhir, respectively -- who are both trustees in the foundation for offences under section 18(c) read with section 27(b)(ii) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.

Section 18(c) prohibits the manufacture, sale distribution of drugs without a licence and Section 27(b)(ii) makes the sale, distribution without valid licence punishable with imprisonment for a term, not be less than three years but which may extend to five years and with fine.

In the affidavit, the department has informed that 2349 strips of Favipiravir (Fabiflu/Feravir) were admittedly distributed in a medical camp during the relevant period, and despite acute shortage of drugs in Delhi, the foundation was found to be in possession of 285 strips of Favipiravir which was subsequently handed over to the government authorities.

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