HC: Take steps to stop hoarding, black marketing
The Delhi high court on Monday asked the Centre and Delhi government to take steps to prevent black marketing and hoarding of medicines and medical equipment, such as oxygen concentrators.
A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli, while hearing a plea seeking directions to declare medicines and medical equipment meant for Covid treatment as essential commodities under the Essential Commodities Act, said both authorities should act without waiting for an order from the court.
The court issued notice to the Union health ministry and the Delhi government, represented by additional standing counsel Anuj Aggarwal, on the plea which has also sought setting up of fast track courts to deal exclusively with cases of black marketing and hoarding of medicines and equipment. The petition by Delhi resident Manisha Chauhan has also sought appointment of special public prosecutors for the same.
Advocates Sanjeev Sagar and Nazia Parveen, appearing for Chauhan, told the court that in the absence of a notification declaring medicines and equipment meant for Covid as essential commodities, these are being hoarded and black marketed.
Central government standing counsel Amit Mahajan told the court that the suggestion to fix an MRP on equipments was good and was being considered.
The bench asked the government to examine whether it can issue any notification to prevent hoarding and black marketing of the imported items.
It also directed the Delhi government to place on record the details of seizure and release of oxygen concentrators, medicines and other equipments.
The court also directed all the hospitals to update the data of available beds so that citizens can know the details in real time.
During the proceedings, the court also admonished the Delhi government for not advertising to call upon the services of the doctors.