THE Delhi High Court Monday tore into the Delhi police’s preliminary report in which it found no case against politicians for allegedly hoarding huge stocks of medicines crucial for the management of Covid19.
“What you have done? We had given you enough time, but you came up with whitewash”, Justice Vipin Sanghi said to the Delhi police, while castigating political parties for using the pandemic as “a selling point” “Political parties have no business making the pandemic a selling point,” the judge said.
The Delhi police pleaded for more time to complete the probe; the high court granted it one week to do so.
The high court was hearing a plea by a Deepak Singh seeking directions for the registration of a First Information Report(FIR) and investigation into what he alleged was a “medical mafia-politicians nexus” by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI); detention of persons indulging in black-marketing of Covid-19 medicines as per the National Security Act, 1980; and disqualification of MPs and MLAs found to be hoarding and illegally distributing Covid-19 medicines.
The Delhi High court on May 4, while declining the prayer for a CBI probe, asked the petitioner to approach the police. The court also sought a status report from the police on their probe into the allegations.
Delhi HC order dated May 4, 2021.
“Political leaders have no business to hoard stocks. If their intention is to do public good, then they should give it to Director General of Health Services (DGHS) and they will distribute to needy”, the high court said, even as it declined a Delhi police request to allow a court-ordered seizure of stocks. The seizure, the court pointed out, was a legal exercise and had to be taken in accordance with the law.
“We are appealing to the good sense of good samaritans to surrender their deposits to the DG of Health Services”, the HC said.
The Indian Express this morning reported that in a preliminary report on allegations of black marketing and illegal distribution of Covid-19 medicines against various politicians, including All India Youth Congress President Srinivas B V, the Delhi Police said the persons had been helping people voluntarily and without discrimination.
“The enquiry conducted so far has revealed that all the persons alleged to have been hoarding medicines etc have been actually helping people in getting medical aid in the form of medicine, oxygen, plasma or hospital bed, the person enquired into have not charged any money for the help provided and thus no one has been defrauded. The distribution/help has been voluntary and without discrimination,” the Crime Branch said in its status report before the court.
While filing the preliminary report, the police, however, sought more time to fully examine the issue and conclude the probe.
Besides Srinivas, police had questioned AAP MLA Dilip Pandey, BJP MP Gautam Gambhir and others
The article was originally published in The Leaflet.