New Delhi, May 17 (PTI) The submissions of the Delhi Police that politicians, including BJP MP Gautam Gambhir, who were alleged to have been hoarding COVID-19 medicines, were voluntarily helping people in getting medical aid and no one has been defrauded, did not go well with the Delhi High Court which Monday expressed dissatisfaction over the 'vague and whitewashed enquiry' report.
“Just because some political figures are involved, you will not investigate, we will not allow this,” said a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh which was hearing a plea over the allegations against politicians hoarding and distributing medicines, including Remdesivir, in the national capital.
Gambhir, in his statement given to the police which forms part of the status report, said being a public representative, he is duty bound to do whatever is possible within his means to extend whatever support people require especially during the present time of the pandemic and that any effort by any citizen towards relief for the common man should be welcomed in these testing times.
He stated that the distribution of medicines was done absolutely free of cost for public welfare and support.
Regarding the query on distribution of tablet fabiflu, used for treating COVID-19 patients, through his Jagriti Enclave office in east Delhi and office of his foundation at Pusa Road in central Delhi, the BJP leader said he is one of the trustees of Gautam Gambhir Foundation which had organized a free medical camp from April 22 to May 7 for providing assistance to the people suffering from the infection.
The MP from East Delhi Lok Sabha seat said the camp remained under the supervision and control of Dr Manish of Garg Hospital who had volunteered his services for the camp and dispensation of medicines to patients’ attendants and a total of 2628 strips of Fabiflu were purchased from authorized vendors against the doctor’s prescription.
Gambhir said invoices were also taken by the foundation from the vendors and though the payments were made by the foundation, the medicine was directly delivered by vendors to Dr Manish.
He said 2343 strips were distributed free of cost to the patients’ attendants by the doctor after seeing the prescription of their respective doctors and remaining 285 strips of the medicine are still in the custody of Dr Manish who has been requesting the foundation to distribute them to the needy ones.
The police said the enquiry in the alleged instances is being conducted on a day-to-day basis and the officials have examined Lok Sabha MP and BJP leader Gautam Gambhir, President of Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee Chaudhary Anil Kumar, ex Congress MLA Mukesh Sharma, BJP spokesperson Harish Khurana, AAP MLA Dilip Pandey.
The others who have been enquired are Vice President Congress (Delhi) Ali Mehdi, Block adhyaksh of Congress (Delhi) Ashok Baghel, ex MP Bijnor Shahid Siddiqui and President of All India Youth Congress Srinivas BV.
The police sought six weeks to examine the issue and conclude the enquiry, which was declined by the court on the ground that pandemic is going on right now and the police force shall stand up as it owes a duty to citizens.
The bench, which gave a week's time to the police to file better status report, said it shall clearly mention how medicines, which were in huge shortage and sold at higher rates in black market, were procured by few persons in large quantities.
The police, in its status report, said the political leaders, including cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir, have been actually helping people in getting medical aid in the form of medicines, oxygen and others and have not charged any money and no one has been defrauded.
“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 report said. PTI SKV SKV RKS RKS