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‘Fake’ vaccination drives: Check what 2,000 victims administered, ensure fast probe, HC tells BMC, police

The court also directed the Mumbai Police to ensure that all perpetrators, including “big fish” are booked and an “honest endeavor” is made to go to the root of the issue.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: June 29, 2021 11:12:32 pm
A beneficiary gets a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine in Mumbai. (File photo)

The Bombay High Court observed Tuesday there was a “state failure” in preventing unauthorised Covid vaccination drives and asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to inform it of the measures taken to verify what was administered to the over 2,000 victims of such camps and to inoculate them with Covid vaccines.

The court also directed the Mumbai Police to ensure all perpetrators, including the “big fish”, were booked and an “honest endeavour” made to get to the root of the issue.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Girish S Kulkarni made the observations while hearing a PIL filed by Mumbai-resident Siddharth Chandrashekhar and seeking the court’s intervention on issues faced while booking slots on the CoWin portal. The petitioner also sought priority slots for the elderly.

On Tuesday, chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare, for the Mumbai Police, submitted a progress report on the investigations and said seven cases have been registered in connection with “fake” vaccination camps and 11 persons taken into custody, while one accused, Dr Manish Tripathi, has surrendered before the police.

“Please tell the police officers that there could be big fishes, who are not investigated. None should be spared irrespective of any colour and probe should be absolutely proper,” the bench told Thakare.

The court also asked the BMC to inform it of measures taken for the 2,053 people “duped” in the camps held between May 25 and June 6. “There appears to be state failure. More than 2,000 people have been injected with fake jabs, what are you doing about their vaccination? Whatever tests are required to find out what was administered should be done,” the HC said.

Senior counsel Anil Sakhare, appearing for BMC, submitted the civic body was trying to find what were these victims injected with, and thereafter, would approach hospitals or get antibody tests done. “The issue pertaining to vaccination certificates given to them has to be checked by the central government,” he said.

Sakhare submitted SOPs for holding vaccination camps at housing societies, commercial premises and educational institutes among others will be published by Wednesday. The matter has been posted for further hearing on July 1.

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