The Bombay High Court told BJP MP Dr Sujay Vikhe Patil on Monday that he should have avoided gimmicks after he courted controversy last week by releasing videos and photographs showing him in a chartered flight before landing at Shirdi airport and unloading boxes of Remdesivir.
A division bench of Justice Ravindra V Ghuge and Justice Bhalchandra U Debadwar told Shirish Gupte, the counsel for Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Ahmednagar, who was seeking dismissal of a petition seeking action against him that, “Your client, too, must reflect. Had he not been interested in gimmicks like recording himself and claiming that he used his sambandh (contacts) in Delhi to obtain injections for constituents. He should not have done that.”
Gupte refuted claims that Vikhe-Patil obtained and distributed approximately 10,000 vials of Remdesivir, an anti-viral medication used in the treatment of Covid-19, in an illegal and secret manner, and claimed that the litigation had harmed his client’s reputation.
The court was hearing a petition filed by Arun Kadu, an agriculturist from Rahuri in Ahmednagar, and three others via advocate Pradnya S Talekar alleging illegal distribution of an anti-viral drug by a member of Parliament.
Talekar claimed that the petitioners tried to amend the petition to include similar instances at the behest of other people’s representatives.
The complainant requested that FIR be filed against all such politicians.
Gupte told the court that his client wanted to interfere in the case, and that the court couldn’t make a decision without hearing from the MP.
Vikhe-counsel Patil’s argued that his client never made a clear comment about the number of injections provided in the social media posts and refuted the petitioners’ statements.
Gupte alleged that the applicant did not obtain the 10,000 vials claimed by the petitioners, and that on April 19, nearly 15 boxes containing only 80 vials each (1,200 injections total) arrived at Shirdi Airport.
They were obtained from a manufacturer in Chandigarh through a foundation run by the MP, while 500 injections were delivered directly to the civil surgeon from Pharma Deal, a Pune-based distributor, he said.
Gupte added that after the Vikhe-Patil foundation transferred nearly Rs 25.7 lakh to the civil surgeon, the latter deposited the money with the Pune distributor.
The next hearing of the Plea has been scheduled for May 5.