SC refuses to entertain plea seeking guidelines to prevent sale of fake COVID-19 vaccines

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New Delhi, Feb 11 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Centre to issue “strict” guidelines to prevent any chance of sale of fake coronavirus vaccines in the country, saying it cannot pass general directions.

'We understand your motivation but you file a concrete case. We cannot pass general directions. We are not the legislature,' a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde told the petitioner.

'If you (petitioner) want to pursue this issue, you make out a case with concrete facts. We will allow you to withdraw with liberty to file it afresh,' the bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, told advocate Vishal Tiwari who had filed the plea.

Tiwari told the bench that he would withdraw the plea with liberty to file a fresh petition.

“The petitioner who is appearing in person seeks permission to withdraw this petition with liberty to file a fresh petition. Permission, as sought for, is granted. Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the liberty aforesaid,” the bench said in its order.

The plea was filed before the roll out of vaccines in India and had referred to the statement of Secretary General of INTERPOL to the effect that criminal organizations have been planning to infiltrate or disrupt supply chains.

The plea had said the INTERPOL official also issued a global alert to law enforcement agencies of 194 member countries warning them to prepare for organized crime networks targeting COVID-19 vaccines, both physically and online.

'Issue writ...directions to the respondent (Centre) to issue strict guidelines and regulations under Disaster Management Act or under any other law by constituting a special committee to prevent the chances of fake and counterfeit Corona vaccine selling/circulating and advertising by any organization, company, online Apps,' it had said.

It had also sought directions for the government agencies to run awareness programme for safety of citizens against the danger of fake corona vaccine.

'Direct the Respondent (Centre) enact a strict law against the criminal act committed by selling or circulating the counterfeit corona vaccine by any organization or Individual,' it had said. PTI ABA SJK SA