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HC Calls on Maharashtra to Address Safety Concerns Raised by SII CEO | India News


MUMBAI: The Mumbai High Court said on Tuesday that the Maharashtra government must ensure the executive director of the Serum Institute of India (SII), Adar Poonawalla, the necessary security in the wake of alleged threats against him over the supply of Covishield vaccine manufactured by your company.
A holiday bank of SS Judges Shinde and Abhay Ahuja said that by making the Covid-19 vaccine, Poonawalla was doing a great service to the nation and that the highest state government officials should investigate the issue of his safety.
He said senior state officials should speak personally with Poonawalla, who recently went to London, and assure him of his safety when he returns to India.
The court was hearing a petition filed by attorney Datta Mane, seeking Z-plus safety for Poonawalla.
The Union government has already granted category ‘Y’ security to the Pune-based industrialist.
The petitioner, through his lawyer Pradip Havnur, told the HC that according to press reports, Poonawalla had been living in fear due to constant pressure from politicians and some others who demanded that he provide more supply of the Covishield vaccine. to their states.
Mane’s plea said that Poonawalla had left for London because of such threats.
In particular, Poonawalla had said in a recent interview to The Times that he had been receiving threats and pressure from ‘powerful people’ seeking priority vaccine doses.
On Tuesday, Maharashtra government attorney Deepak Thakare told the HC that the state had provided category Y security to Poonawalla, so some CRPF staff and two armed men from the state police will remain available for his 24 hour security. .
He further said that the state was taking stock of the situation and would consider providing Z-plus security to Poonawalla upon his return to the country.
Given this, the court said that the state should not consider the petition as an adversarial litigation.
“Mr. Poonawalla is doing a fabulous job. He is doing a great service. He is serving the nation,” said the HC.
In addition, he said that Poonawalla was now trying to improve the production of the vaccine.
“The expectation of the court is that someone from the state government should speak to him and assure him that all security arrangements will be made and that security will be provided whenever he is in Maharashtra,” the HC said.
Mumbai is the economic capital of the country and Maharashtra is a modern and progressive state, he noted.
“If Mr. Poonawalla has raised any concerns, the state must address them,” the court said.
The court ordered attorney Thakare to speak with state government officials and convey the court’s concerns.
“Please speak to the highest state officials, perhaps the state interior minister, and he (Poonawalla) should be given security from above. They should speak to him personally,” the HC said.
He ordered the state government to make a statement to the HC on June 10 regarding the security provided to Poonawalla, the number of CRPF personnel who will remain on guard for him, and other related issues.

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