Embroiled in controversy over procurement of 10,000 vials of Remdesivir from Delhi, BJP Lok Sabha MP Sujay Vikhe Patil has now refuted all allegations against him. He has approached the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court and said that he had only transported 1,200 vials of the injection.
Vikhe Patil’s lawyer Shirish Gupte pleaded before a division bench of Justice R V Ghuge and Justice B U Debadwar to be allowed to intervene and put his side of the story in which he is being made a “hero or a villain”.
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The Ahmednagar MP’s lawyer said that Vikhe Patil, who owns a medical college and hospital, had not kept any vials for personal use. “The government had placed order for Remdesivir and the supplier in Pune had promised to give 1,700 vials. But he only gave 500 and said that he was unable to give the rest. That is when we approached the manufacturer in Chandigarh and brought the rest, 1200 vials. We only transported and there are documents to prove that,” said Gupte.
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The BJP MP had made boisterous claims in videos put out by him of having used his contacts to procure Remdesivir for his people from Delhi. The MP’s lawyer told the court that Vikhe Patil had incorrectly mentioned that the vials were brought from Delhi.
Gupte pleaded that Vikhe Patil’s own image and that of his hospital was taking a beating as the entire case unfolded. At this, Justice Ghuge said, “Your client needs to introspect. Had your client not made videos and claimed about using his contacts to get the medicine and clicked pictures of unloading the boxes then none of this would have happened.”
To this, Gupte replied, “I agree, it is just a bravado of a young man who is an elected representative.” Gupte added that this, however, did not make him an accused as is being made out.
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Advocate Pradnya Talekar, appearing for one of the petitioners who has sought investigation against Vikhe Patil, said, “It not just a case of violations under the epidemic act but even sections of perjury should be added against these people as back dated documents have been created to save this person. I can show it.”
The court has also pulled up the Ahmednagar collector for not knowing that the vials had been brought from Chandigarh and not from Delhi. “It is Mr Gupte who told us. How can the collector not know?” asked the court. The court will further hear the case next week where each of the lawyers will make detailed submissions.
A bunch of PILs were filed seeking an investigation into the case where Vikhe Patil claimed to have procured Remdesivir injections, essential in treating critical Covid-19 patients.
Last week, the Bombay High Court had said that if they found any private company procuring Covid-19 drugs and distributing them to the individuals directly, they would pass an order of injunction against said entity.
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