Won’t allow political capital over pandemic: Delhi HC 

HC says govt can’t take action on Good Samaritans helping people with oxygen

Published: 30th July 2021 08:10 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2021 08:10 AM   |  A+A-

A woman walks past a wall mural on raising awareness about wearing facemasks, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in New Delhi

A woman walks past a wall mural on raising awareness about wearing facemasks, amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in New Delhi. (File Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI:  Taking strong exception to the prosecution initiated against AAP MLA Praveen Kumar for procuring medical oxygen, the Delhi High Court observed that such action cannot be initiated when the governments came short in the second wave of Covid.

It is very unfortunate that a human tragedy was used for political capital, the HC observed. “We will not allow this political capital. Then you proceed against all the gurdwaras, temples, churches and social organisations. Why pick only one person? The state, both the Delhi government and Union of India, failed in providing sufficient medical oxygen to the people.

There were some good samartians who provided oxygen. You can’t prosecute them,” the bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Jasmeet Singh said, terming the action as consciously targeting leaders of a particular political party and witch hunting

The bench granted time to the Drug Controller of the Delhi Government to clear its stand on whether it wishes to prosecute all such persons who had procured or distributed medical oxygen for free to the Covid patients. It listed the matter for further hearing on August 5.

The high court referred to its previous order in which it observed that the issue of medical oxygen is technical and different from the issue of hoarding of medicines. “Had we not said that you will not proceed against oxygen? If this is the way you are going to proceed, then you proceed against half of Delhi and also proceed against all the gurdwaras. How can you take such a hyper technical view?” the bench said, adding that the purpose is to help the society without causing any damage to others.

The HC distinguished this case with that of BJP MP Gautam Gambhir who had procured, stocked and distributed huge quantity of Fabiflu medicine. “The reason for picking Gambhir’s case was that he was very irresponsibly holding the Covid medicines in huge quantity. He may have had the best of intentions but this is not allowed.”  

Action on two others 
The drug control department said it has launched prosecution against Gautam Gambhir Foundation and another AAP MLA Imran Hussain Kumar for violations under Drugs and Cosmetics Act


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