Published On : Mon, Apr 19th, 2021

Devendra Fadnavis accused of illegally purchasing Remdesivir: All you need to know about the controversy

Former Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis told the police that Bruck had “all permissions” to provide the injections and said the official was picked up “suddenly”.

Opposition leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is in hot waters for purchasing Remdesivir injections – sale of which is only allowed for the government.

Fadnavis rushed to the Bandra-Kurla Complex police office late on April 18 to “rescue” officials of Bruck Pharma, who were being detained and questioned over the supply and sale of Remdesivir injections, the Times of India reported.

Bruck Pharma manufacturers in Daman & Diu came under police scanner after Maharashtra BJP MLC Prasad Lad had sought to buy Remdesivir injections from them for the state. Fadnavis told the police that Bruck had “all permissions” to provide the injections and said the official was picked up “suddenly”.

“We visited the police station and asked the zonal DCP what was his offence,” Fadnavis told the paper.

However, Shiv Sena spokesperson Harshal Prasad alleged that Fadnavis showed up at the police station and claimed the BJP had ordered the vials from Daman and Gujarat, and said the BJP wanted the stock to be distributed similarly to how the Gujarat BJP chief had done.

Prasad questioned how Fadnavis, in his capacity as a “private citizen” procured Remdesivir stock when sale is only allowed to the government.

Aam Aadmi Party’s Preeti Sharma Menon called Fadnavis’ move “downright illegal” and said that a political party could not “do charity” as it was not registered with the Charity Commissioner but with the Election Commission (EC). She asked the EC to “take cognizance”.

To clarify his stand, Fadnavis told the paper that the BJP was “not purchasing, but procuring for Maharashtra only”. He added that the approval for the same had been given by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), which would not happen if this was illegal.

Mumbai Police said Bruck Pharma had stored at least 60,000 vials of Remdesivir at various locations in the city, including South Mumbai, Malad, Kandivali and Vile Parle.

Police sources told the paper that investigation was on into why the 60,000 vials were being stored and not distributed in the local market, especially since Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray has repeatedly mentioned that we are falling short of vials.

“No case or seizure or arrest has been done in the matter so far,” the sources added.

Deputy commissioner of police (Zone-VIII) Manjunath Singe added that no case has yet been registered and the action was done “in good faith in larger public interest.”

“There is a shortage of this medicine and its export has been stopped by the government. Hence, we acted swiftly and called the owner of the pharma company just to question him about where and why the medicine has been stored in the city,” Singe told the paper.