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HC Slams Drug Controller Over Report on Gambhir Procuring Fabiflu

The Delhi HC criticised the drug controller for giving a clean chit to Gautam Gambhir over distribution of Fabiflu.

Published
COVID-19
2 min read
Delhi HC pulls up drug controller report over Gautam Gambhir Hoarding COVID drugs.
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The Delhi High Court on Monday, 31 May, came down heavily on the drug controller for not examining how Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Gautam Gambhir procured large quantities of the COVID-19 medicine Fabiflu.

The Delhi court severely criticised the drug control department for giving a clean chit to Gambhir in connection with distribution of COVID-19 drugs, The Indian Express reported.

The court dismissed the report as ‘trash’ and stated that there is no legal basis to it.

“You (drug controller) are wrong to say it was not in short supply. You want us to shut our eyes. You think you would get away with this,” a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said, according to PTI.

On 21 April, the cricketer-turned-politician had tweeted that Fabiflu – a steroid being prescribed to treat COVID patients – was available for free at a specified East Delhi location.

The anti-viral drug used to treat COVID-19 patients had been in short supply, and the politician purchasing a thousands of strips of the medicine, while others who who needed it failing to do so had caused much outrage.

According to The Indian Express, the Drug Control Department submitted a report to the court stating that ‘the distribution of Fabiflu strips by the Gautam Gambhir Foundation appears to be covered by an exception mentioned in the Drugs and Cosmetics Act since the drugs were given away during an event which is being treated as a medical camp organised under the supervision of a doctor of Garg Hospital as the act allows a medical practitioner to stock and dispense medicines to his patients from his premises without obtaining a drug license.’

The high court stated that its confidence in the drug controller had been shaken, rejecting the status report and instead asking the Drug Controller to file a better one before 3 June.

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‘Illegal Distribution’ of COVID-19 Drugs

Earlier this month, BJP MP Gautam Gambhir stated in his tweet said that “people in Delhi who are in need of the drug ‘Fabiflu’ can collect it from the MP office at Jagriti Enclace for free.”

In reaction to this, the Delhi High Court had questioned if the East Delhi MP had license to procure and distribute Fabiflu in large quantities.

“We have already said it is a malpractice. This tendency of people trying to take advantage and then trying to appear as a saviour when they themselves created the problem, has to be denounced. And then the person goes on to state he would do it again. If it continues, we know how to deal with it,” the bench said in a statement.

“Are these not prescription drugs? How is anybody able to procure large quantities? Is he holding a license to deal in these drugs? Does this not require license or what?”
Delhi High Court

The bench also pulled up Gambhir for making a statement that he will continue to do such work.

(With inputs from The Indian Express, Hindustan Times)

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