HC Grants Bail To 4 Accused Of Hoarding COVID-19 Drugs

New Delhi : The Delhi High Court has granted bail to four men accused of hoarding life-saving medicines to treat COVID-19 patients and selling them at exorbitant rates during the second wave of the pandemic.

Justice Subramonium Prasad said, “The object of bail is neither punitive nor preventative and the person who has not been convicted should be held in custody pending trial only to ensure his attendance at trial; and to ensure that the evidence is not tampered with and the witnesses are not threatened”.

Court’s permission

Granting bail to Mohan Kumar Jha, Mohd Shoiab Khan, Pushkar Chandrakant Pakhale and Aditya Gautam, who had been in custody for the last seven months, Justice Prasad ordered them not to leave the Capital without prior permission of the court.

The court also directed the four accused to report to the police station concerned thrice a week and not to tamper with the evidence or contact any witnesses.

According to the prosecution, during the second wave of COVID-19 in April, the Delhi Police Crime Branch received inputs of illegal hoarding and supply of life-saving medicines, including Remdesivir, to treat COVID-19 patients.

Police officers got a tip-off that two of the accused were going to supply Remdesivir injections near Batra Hospital. The two were apprehended along with the medicines and were unable to give any prescription of doctor or bills or satisfactory answers. The other accused were arrested subsequently.

The police said that empty vials and a batch-coding machine, apparently used for the production of the fake injection labels, were seized from one of the accused.

The prosecution opposed the bail plea contending that there had been a nexus of these individuals to dupe the needy people whose family members were ill and these people exploited their gullibility by selling fake Remdesivir injections at exorbitant prices.

The accused sought bail on the grounds that they had been in judicial custody for the last seven months. A chargesheet had been filed and that no useful purpose would be served by keeping them in jail, their plea said.

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