The Bombay High Court sought responses from the Serum Institute of India (SII) and businessman-philanthropist Bill Gates in a petition filed by a man who alleged that his daughter had died because of the side effects of SII's Covishield vaccine.
The petitioner, Dilip Lunawat, made Gates a party to the case as the latter had funded the SII's efforts in manufacturing the vaccine against COVID-19, Bar and Bench reported.
Lunawat claimed in his plea that his daughter, Snehal, who was a medical student, was assured that the vaccine was completely safe and would not pose any risks.
She was compelled to be inoculated at her college since she was in the category of healthcare workers. However, she passed away on 1 March last year allegedly because of the vaccine's side effects.
Lunawat also submitted that the Centre's Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) committee admitted in October last year that his daughter's death had occurred because of the vaccine's side effects.
Rs 1,000 Crore Compensation Sought
He also said that the drug controller general of India (DCGI) and director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) gave false assurances that the vaccines were safe, a narrative allegedly upheld by state authorities without verification.
Hence, Lunawat sought a declaration from the high court that the respondents have a "callous criminal attitude" as they still claim till date that they have a treatment for Covishield's side effects.
The petitioner also urged the court to issue directions to state authorities to pay compensation of Rs 1,000 crore, which they could recover from SII.
The plea also sought directions to the Centre to take action against tech giants like Google, YouTube, and Meta, whose platforms are allegedly used to suppress data about deaths cause by the side effects of vaccines.
(With inputs from Bar and Bench.)