Consider plea for Z-plus security for Adar Poonawalla, inform: HC directs Maharashtra Govt
The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday directed the state government and its top functionaries to take stock of the security provided to Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla and also consider the request of the petitioner lawyer who has sought Z-plus security for the vaccine manufacturer, given the alleged threats for additional vaccines, which he has received from certain politicians
The Bombay high court (HC) on Tuesday directed the state government and its top functionaries to take stock of the security provided to Serum Institute of India (SII) CEO Adar Poonawalla and also consider the request of the petitioner lawyer who has sought Z-plus security for the vaccine manufacturer, given the alleged threats for additional vaccines, which he has received from certain politicians. The bench has also asked the state to inform it of the decision with regards to the security for Poonawalla as he is doing valuable service of providing life-saving vaccines.
The vacation bench of justice SS Shinde and justice Abhay Ahuja while hearing a petition filed by advocate Datta Mane seeking directions to the state director-general of police (DGP) and Pune police commissioner to register a first information report (FIR) and probe the alleged threats issued to Poonawalla by certain politicians demanding more supply of Covishield vaccines.
Advocate Pradeep Havnur for the petitioner also sought Z plus security cover for Poonawalla in reference to news reports which claimed that Poonawalla and his family had left for the UK before April 23 due to fear and constant pressure from chief ministers of states and big persons.
On Tuesday, chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare in response to court directions to inform it of the current security provided to Poonawalla said that the central government had provided him with Y- plus security.
The court then sought details of the personnel assigned for Poonawalla’s security as per Y-plus security stipulations. The bench then observed, “Manufacturing of vaccines is taking place in our state and Maharashtra is welfare, progressive and modern state. If something is expressed about his security and threats to him, we feel that the concerns of the petitioner need to be taken care of.”
Waxing eloquent about the services being provided by Poonawalla, the bench said, “He is doing a great job and playing a substantial role by providing crores of vaccines to the nation. It is a lifesaver. All measures be taken to protect him as and when he is in Maharashtra. Please talk to higher functionaries, maybe the home minister too. Assurances of security should be given. Please do not consider this as an adversarial petition.”
The court then asked the state to take stock of the security provided to Poonawalla and inform it about the same on June 10.