Gautam Gambhir Foundation guilty of hoarding Fabiflu, drugs controller tells Delhi HC

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AAP MLA Praveen Kumar had also been found guilty for similar offences and action will be taken against him, it says

The drugs controller of Delhi on Thursday informed the Delhi High Court that the Gautam Gambhir Foundation (GGF) had been found guilty of unauthorisedly stocking, procuring and distributing Fabiflu (medicine) to COVID-19 patients.

A bench of Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Jasmeet Singh told the drugs controller to take action in the case. “Firstly, you do charity for charity. Doing charity for some other reason is no charity. We want to curb this practice and for this, we want you [drugs controller] to take action,” it said.

Noting the manner in which cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir procured huge quantity of the drug when it was in short supply in the city, the court stated, “This was certainly not the way. In this pandemic, it should not be done just because people have means to do it. It should not be that I will do it for one class or for my constituency people and it should not be for popularity”.

The drugs controller submitted that action would be taken without delay against the foundation, drug dealers as also in other such cases that would be brought to its notice.

It said that AAP MLA Praveen Kumar had also been found guilty for similar offences under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act and action would be taken against him.

The drugs controller’s counsel said show-cause notices have been issued to licensees under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act as well as those who were found to have breached the law and their responses were awaited.

‘File status reports within 6 weeks’

The court asked the drugs controller to file status reports within six weeks and posted the matter for hearing on July 29.

It was hearing a petition seeking the lodging of an FIR on the allegations that politicians are able to procure and distribute in huge quantities COVID-19 medicines even as patients were running from pillar to post to get them.

“It is established that the GGF do not hold the requisite drug licence for purchase or stock or distribute drugs. It has been found that it was unauthorisedly procuring, stocking and distributing Fabiflu under the Drugs and Cosmetics Act in a manner which was not permissible under the law. The GGF has committed an offence punishable under the Act,” advocate Nandita Rao, representing the drugs controller, said while reading out the status report.

‘Good intention’

The bench said that Mr. Gambhir did it with a good intention and had spent a lot of money and procured the medicines in a public spirit “but at what cost?”

“He did a lot of charity no doubt but he caused a lot of shortage of the drug and inconvenience to the patients,” it noted.

On the issue of individuals who had to purchase medicines or oxygen cylinders or concentrators in black market at exorbitant rates, the bench said it did not want to go after them even though it constituted an offence as people were driven to breach the law due to unavailability of resources.


This article was originally published on The Hindu