Drug hoarding case: Delhi HC stays trial court proceedings against Gautam Gambhir, others
New Delhi, Sep 20: The proceedings in the trial court against the former cricketer and politician Gautam Gambhir, his foundation and others in connection to the alleged illegal stocking and distribution of COVID-19 drugs have been stayed by the Delhi High Court on Monday.
Seeking a response from the Delhi drug control authority on the petition filed by Gautam Gambhir foundation, Gambhir and other accused, assailing the criminal complaint and the summoning order passed by the trial court in the case, Justice Rajnish Bhatnagar, listed the case for further hearing on 8 December. "Till then the proceedings are stayed." the judge said.
Drug Control Department has filed a complaint against Gautam Gambhir foundation, its CEO Aprajita Singh, Aprajit Singh, Seema Gambhir, Gautam Gambhir and Natasha Gambhir for offences under section 18(c) read with section 27(b)(ii) of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act.
Apart from Gautam Gambhir and others, Two separate complaints were also filed against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs Praveen Kumar and Imran Hussain alleging the commission of offences. Section 18(c) prohibits the manufacture, sale distribution of drugs without a licence and Section 27(b)(ii) makes sale, distribution without valid licence punishable with imprisonment for a term, not be less than three years but which may extend to five years and with fine.
The trial court noted that the complainant has been able to prima-facie prove the commission of the offence. The trial court in its July 26 order had recorded that the prosecution case is that Gautam Gambhir and others from the foundation allegedly stocked and distributed drugs namely Favipiravir tablets and Medical Oxygen during a medical camp held from April 22, 2021 to May 18, 2021.
Last month, the trial court had listed the case against the foundation for further hearing on February 7, 2022. On June 3, Delhi's drug controller had told the Delhi High Court that Gambhir Foundation was found guilty of unauthorised stocking, procuring and distributing fabiflu medicine to COVID-19 patients.
The high court had deprecated the manner in which a huge quantity of the drug was procured and said that the genuine patients who needed the medicine at that particular time could not get it as the bulk stock was taken away by Gambhir. The drug controller also submitted that action will be taken without delay against the foundation.