The Delhi High Court on Thursday (April 29, 2021) ordered the AAP government's Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Revenue to give orders for the release of Remdesivir, which is used in COVID-19 care, as soon as it is confiscated by the police from hoarders and black marketeers.
The order was given by a bench of Justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli to ensure that the confiscated medicine did not become case property, that it did not lose its efficacy, and that it could be distributed to patients in need.
According to the court, if a seizure is made, the Investigating Officer (IO) must promptly notify the DC. The IO must also ensure that the confiscated medicines are authentic and that they are stored in a refrigerated condition before they are released to a pharmacy or a COVID health centre, according to the bench.
The court released a similar order on the use of oxygen cylinders confiscated by the police after searches.
The order came after Kanwal Jeet Arora, the member-secretary of the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), told the bench that, in the current situation, confiscated medicines and oxygen cylinders should be put to use rather than being held as case property.
The Delhi government told the court that as on April 27, around 279 vials of Remdesivir were seized by the Delhi Police.
In its order, the bench also said that Remdesivir or oxygen cylinders could not be confiscated from patients or their attendants who may have obtained them on the black market, as they may have done so "out of sheer necessity and desire." Arora's statement came during the hearing of many petitions about the oxygen shortage and other problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is wreaking havoc in the nation's capital.