“Ready to face it…”: Gautam Gambhir after Covid drugs row reaches court

New Delhi: BJP MP Gautam Gambhir has said his non-profit “will keep working for the people” a day after the Delhi government’s drug regulator told the high court that his organisation kept massive stocks and distributed large quantities of the anti-viral medicine Fabiflu for COVID-19 patients, at a time when people could not find them easily anywhere.

The national capital’s Drugs Control Department had told the Delhi High Court that action would be taken against Gambhir’s non-profit, dealers and anyone who had taken hold of large quantities of medicines meant for Covid patients amid shortage.

“The matter (distribution of Fabiflu) is in the court. Whatever the court decides, I am ready to face it. All I can say is Gautam Gambhir Foundation will keep working for the people,” the BJP MP said on Friday.

In late April, at the height of the deadly second wave of the pandemic, Gambhir had offered the anti-viral drug for free at his constituency in Delhi. The Congress and the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), led by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, had criticised the BJP MP’s move to stock up Fabiflu amid a short supply in the city.

AAP MLA Praveen Kumar also committed a similar offence, the Delhi drugs controller told the high court.

“The inquiry by the drug controller found that Fabiflu and oxygen were distributed free by both of them, but neither had a license to either buy or distribute,” a person with direct knowledge of the matter said, asking not to be identified.

Gambhir has been defending his move to distribute the drugs for free. Right after the row broke out in late April, he had hit back at critics for creating a controversy out of a small act of public service.

“If a few 100 strips of tablets obtained from a distributor are being given for free, then, can it be called hoarding? Is my obtaining a few strips of Fabiflu causing the shortage? You can call me wrong but I’ll do everything to save lives of people,” the cricketer-turned-politician said.

The Delhi drugs regulator has to reply to the high court on July 29. Delhi’s Drugs Control Department is a regulatory wing that looks into manufacturing of drugs and cosmetics, and their sales.

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News Live Odisha

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