The Gujarat High Court on August 10, 2021, questioned the State Government about the use of the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities Act (PASA), 1985 in cases of unauthorised manufacturing and delivery of Remdesivir injections, and ordered the State Government to develop an uniform rules for using the harsh jurisprudence in such case scenarios.
Justice Paresh Upadhyay's panel also questioned the lodging of FIRs and invocation of PASA in such circumstances, calling it a ploy to divert people's focus away from the scenario in which they were unable to obtain medicine.
In the matter at hand, the court suspended a pre-detention order against Nitesh Joshi, who had been detained and imprisoned for fraudulently selling counterfeit Remdesivir injections.
The Court also maintained emphasizing that a political party had distributed 5,000 Remdesivir shots in Surat.
The Gujarat State Government was brought into question by the Gujarat High Court for imprisoning people under the Prevention of Anti-Social Activities (PASA) Act for obtaining a few Remdesivir injections, despite the fact that the act of political party distribution of 5K injections was found to be "in compliance with the law."
"Praja ne vadhare na daravo tame logo" (Don't frighten the citizens), Justice Paresh Upadhyay's bench said orally.
In light of this, the Court urged for an unified policy for invoking PASA, stating:
It should be emphasised that in accordance with the FIRs, many of which are submitted by the police on confidential information referring to illegal activities in the allocation and management of Ramdesivir injunctions, detention orders have been issued or are being considered in various districts. Although this detaining organization may vary by district, illegalities in the manufacturing and delivery of Ramdesivir injunctions is a matter that requires some standardisation at the state level, so that district officials can respond uniformly to such an issue.
This brings up the question as to whether the State Government is willing to accept such harsh measures homogeneously against all accused/citizens in all cases, without even being swayed by the situation of the complainant, where complaints have been filed alleging illegal activities in the manufacturing and delivery of Ramdesivir injunctions in an unauthorised manner, as the Court noted while seeing the case.