May 17, 2021 4:20:49 am
In a preliminary report on allegations of blackmarketing and illegal distribution of Covid-19 medicines against various politicians, including All India Youth Congress President Srinivas B V, the Delhi Police has told the Delhi High Court that the persons have been helping people voluntarily and without discrimination.
“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,” said the Crime Branch in a status report before the court.
Srinivas and the others were questioned by the Crime Branch after a petition before the court alleged that a “medical mafia-politician nexus” was indulging in illegal distribution of medicines.
On May 4, a division bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, while declining the prayer for a CBI probe, asked the petitioner, Dr Deepak Singh, to approach the police. The court also sought a status report from the police on their probe into the allegations.
While filing the preliminary report, police, however, sought more time to fully examine the issue and conclude the probe. “It is humbly prayed that at least six weeks time may be granted to finalise the enquiry and to file a detailed compliance report before this Hon’ble Court,” reads the reply filed by ACP Manoj Dixit.
Along with the status report, police have attached statements of Srinivas, Gambhir, Pandey, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee President Chaudhary Anil Kumar, former Congress MLA Mukesh Khurana, Delhi Congress Vice President Ali Mehdi, Congress leader Ashok Baghel and former MP Shahid Siddhiqui.
Srinivas told the police in his reply that he and his team of volunteers received thousands of requests for aid and relief — oxygen supply, beds, plasma and supplies to those in home isolation — from the people of Delhi. On requests for oxygen supply, he said, he and his team connect the patients with the appropriate resource or provide them the equipment that they received as donations.
Srinivas also told the police that it was “unfortunate” that at a time “when central government has left the citizens of the country to fend for themselves”, the resources available “are being squandered to harass citizens who are doing charity work to alleviate the pain and suffering caused to the people of this country”.
The issue of hoarding or black marketing “simply does not arise” as the materials they received were in the form of donations, he said in his reply.
Pandey, who was questioned in connection with his response to a tweet by cricketer Unmukt Chand, who needed remedesvir for his mother, told police that he connected Chand to an appropriate medical store.
“Being a public representative, I along with my team are helping the fellow citizens who are in distress during this second wave of Covid-19 pandemic by… connecting [them] to verified leads and medical resources…,” Pandey said in his reply, adding that the “witch hunt ” would discourage many others who were helping those in need.
In his statement of May 14, Gambhir told the police that the Gautam Gambhir Foundation had organised a free medical camp at Jagriti Enclave from April 22 to May 7 to provide assistance to people suffering from Covid-19. The camp remained under the supervision and control of Dr Manish of Garg Hospital, he said.
“A total of 2,628 strips of Fabiflu were purchased from authorised vendors against prescription… given by Dr Sanjay Garg (Garg Hospital). Respective invoices were obtained by the Foundation from the Vendors for the said purchase,” Gambhir said, adding 2,343 strips of the drug were distributed free of cost to attendants of Covid-19 patients against the prescription produced by them.
“It would be noteworthy that unprecedented and desperate situations call for desperate measures and remedies,” he told the police, adding he is “duty bound to do whatever possible” to extend support to his people, “especially during the present time of the pandemic”.
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