The Delhi High Court on Monday stayed trial court proceedings against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gautam Gambhir and his foundation and others in a case related to alleged illegal storage and distribution of drugs used in the treatment of COVID-19. Gave.
Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar has sought response from the Delhi Drug Control Authority on the summons order passed by the trial court in the case on a plea by Gautam Gambhir Foundation, Gambhir and other accused. Listing the matter for further hearing on December 8, the judge said till then the proceedings are stayed.
The Drug Control Department has registered a case against Gautam Gambhir Foundation, its CEO Aparajita Singh, Aparajit Singh, Seema Gambhir, Gautam Gambhir and Natasha Gambhir under Section 18 (c) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act as well as Section 27 (b) (ii) Have done Two separate complaints have also been filed against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs Praveen Kumar and Imran Hussain.
Prohibition of manufacture, sale, distribution of drugs without a license under section 18(c) and sale, distribution without a valid license under section 27(b)(ii) provides for imprisonment of three years, which may extend to five years. can go.
Senior advocate ANS Nadkarni, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that no case was made out against their clients as the foundation was distributing medicines used in the treatment of COVID-19 patients free of cost through a medical camp and this is an accepted fact. that drugs were not being sold. Advocate Nandita Rao, appearing for the Drugs Control Department, submitted that a license is necessary for trading in such drugs and the law does not differentiate between sale and distribution.
In their petition, filed through advocate Jai Ananth Dehadrai, the petitioners have contended that no license is required for charitable activity during an unprecedented calamity and it would be a travesty of justice to initiate criminal proceedings for such acts.
The trial court had held that the complainant prima facie appeared to be capable of proving the offence. The trial court, in its July 26 order, had recorded that the prosecution’s case is that Gautam Gambhir and others of the foundation allegedly consumed Favipiravir tablets and medical oxygen during a medical camp held from April 22 to May 18, 2021. warehousing and distribution. Last month, the trial court listed the matter against the foundation for further hearing on February 7, 2022.