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Prevent Hoarding, Black Marketing of Medicines, Covid Treatment Equipment: HC to the Center, Delhi Government | India News


NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court asked the Delhi Center and government on Monday to do something without waiting for court orders to prevent black marketing and the hoarding of drugs and medical equipment such as oxygen concentrators.
The high court ordered the Delhi government to submit a status report regarding the seizure of equipment and drugs accumulated or sold on the black market and the orders approved by the SDMs for the release of the same. A court of judges Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli was listening to a PIL asking them for instructions to declare drugs and medical equipment intended for the treatment of Covid as essential products under the Essential Products Law.
He said that if something had to be done, “do it without waiting for court orders.” The court issued a notice to the Union Ministry of Health and the Delhi government, represented by additional permanent counsel Anuj Aggarwal, on the guilty plea which also sought the establishment of fast track courts to deal exclusively with black marketing cases. and hoarding of drugs and equipment. He also ordered that his order against the hoarding and black marketing of drugs and equipment related to the treatment of Covid be communicated to all subordinate courts and listed the matter for their hearing on May 18.
The direction came from the request of Manisha Chauhan, a resident of Delhi, who has also requested the appointment of special public prosecutors to deal with these cases before the special fast-track courts. Advocates Sanjeev Sagar and Nazia Parveen, who appeared on Chauhan’s behalf, told the court that, in the absence of a notification stating that the drugs and equipment destined for Covid are commodities, these are being stockpiled and traded in black. They also told the court that, in the absence of such notification, the people who hoard or trade such items are trying to claim their benefit and the subordinate courts appear to ignore the orders of the higher court on this matter.
The petition has also sought the initiation of a contempt action against those people who are engaged in black marketing and the hoarding of drugs and equipment intended for the treatment of Covid in violation of the order of the higher court against said practice.
During the hearing, the Center told the bank that the suggestion to fix the equipment’s MRP was a good suggestion, as it would prevent the dumping of spurious imports into Indian ports and would not discourage real importers. He said he was investigating the problem. The court, during the hearing, suggested that some incentives in the form of a certain percentage of reimbursement can be given to importers when setting a price for equipment and drugs.
He also said that if there is free flow of imported goods, then market forces and competition would determine prices, if there was no caterization. He said the government should also examine whether it can issue any notifications to prevent hoarding and black marketing of imported items. To this, the Center said that while an MRP can be set for the sale of these imported goods, a timeline as such cannot be set for selling them. He also said that due to the exemption from customs duties on Covid-related equipment and drugs, many people, including individuals, are importing them.

Times of India