Court Relief: Pharma firm MD accused of illegal Remdesivir sale gets anticipatory bail
Chandigarh: The Managing Director and Chairman of a Himachal-based pharma firm, arrested in connection with alleged illegal distribution of antiviral drug Remdesivir has been granted anticipatory bail by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday.
The court further granted regular bail to five other accused in the case namely KP Francis, 59, Philip Jacob, 47, Susheel Kumar, 38, Prabhat Tyagi, 48, Gaurav Chawla.
On April 18, the Chandigarh police had arrested six people, including Paramjit Arora, Director of Health Biotech Limited, Baddi, Himachal Pradesh, for alleged illegal sale of Remdesivir.
The accused were detained following a tip-off regarding an unlawful Remdesivir deal at a Sector 17 hotel. A raid was performed by a team led by ASI Surjit Singh, and six people were detained by the UT police operations cell for unlawfully trading in remdesivir by selling it in the Indian market at a higher price.
In connection with the above, a raid was conducted on the pharmaceutical plant in Baddi, according to SP (Operations) Ketan Bansal, where 3,000 remdesivir bottles were confiscated in the presence of a local drug inspector and Gaurav Chawla, the pharmaceutical company's director, was also detained.
Despite claiming to be authorized to manufacture and export the medication, Gaurav Chawla failed to produce any relevant documents. Remdesevir, on the other hand, has been prohibited from being exported since April 11. To collect the goods, the accused had assembled in Chandigarh from various locations.
A case under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC, Section 7 of the Essential Commodities Act, 1955, and Section 27 of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940, was registered against all suspects at the Sector 17 police station, reports The Tribune.
They were produced in a court and sent to four-day police remand. Meanwhile, bail pleas were filed by the accused.
During the trial, Paramjit Arora's lawyer, Advocate Kanika Ahuja, claimed that her client had nothing to do with the accused who was detained from the Taj Hotel and from whose possession a letter was found. She further argued that the letter was the petitioner's company's request to the government of Himachal Pradesh for authorization to sell Remdesivir injections and Favipiravir tablets in the domestic market. Additionally, she claimed that recovery of the aforementioned letter is not a ground to infer offences under Sections 420 and 120-B of the IPC.
The Indian Express reports that after hearing the plea, the bench of Justice Harnaresh Singh Gill granted bail to Paramjit and others noting,
"The petitioner is raising a plea of alibi and further, at one point of time, he had been granted interim bail by the Additional Sessions Judge, Chandigarh. Besides, the petitioner's role is a matter under investigation. Therefore, this Court is inclined to grant ad-interim anticipatory bail to the petitioner."