May 28, 2021 1:11:12 am
The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to respond to a plea filed by a lawyer seeking directions to the state DGP and Pune Police commissioner to register an FIR and probe alleged threats issued to Serum Institute of India CEO Adar Poonawalla by “certain politicians” demanding more supply of Covishield vaccines.
The plea also sought Z+ security cover for Poonawalla.
A vacation bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N R Borkar was hearing a plea filed by lawyer Datta Shrirang Mane on May 4, referring to news reports that stated that Poonawalla had left for the UK before April 23 due to “fear and constant pressure” from chief ministers of states and ‘big persons”.
Asking the petitioner what locus (standing) he had in filing the petition, the bench said that if Poonawalla was not satisfied with the security provided, he would have made a statement in that regard. To this, Mane’s lawyer Pradeep Havnur said that any person can set criminal law in motion.
“The petitioner, being an advocate, will have to bear in mind and be careful next time while arguing this matter as our country has a very good reputation and such proceedings will have an international impact. This is not an ordinary matter,” the bench said.
After Additional Public Prosecutor S R Shinde, appearing for the state, sought time to take instructions from the concerned department and respond to the plea, the HC posted the matter for next hearing on June 1.
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