Read Order: Niha Khan v. State of U.P. and Another
Prayagraj, July 19, 2021: The Allahabad High Court has rejected the anticipatory bail plea of a nurse who allegedly wasted doses of COVID-19 vaccines while serving at a Primary Health Centre in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh.
Expressing its strong concern over the criminal wastage of precious medicine, a single Bench of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi observed that due to alleged wastage of 29 doses of the coronavirus vaccine by the nurse, 29 persons are still not vaccinated and are roaming around freely as potential carriers of the virus under the misconception that they have been vaccinated.
Going by the background of the case, an FIR was lodged by Dr. Durgesh Kumar against the nurse, Niha Khan, and other accused persons following a departmental inquiry conducted by two senior government doctors at Aligarh.
The inquiry report highlighted that 29 doses of vaccine were thrown in the garbage without administering the same to its respective beneficiaries but their names were uploaded over the Portal, thus letting all the efforts of scientists and health workers in fighting against the pandemic, in vain.
The Applicant moved an anticipatory bail plea after an FIR was registered against her u/s 203, 176, 465, 427 and 120B of IPC, Sections 3/4 of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984 and Sections 3/4 of the Epidemic Diseases Act, 1897.
The counsel for the applicant claimed that the nurse has been falsely implicated in the case.
However, the Additional Advocate General in his counter argument vehemently opposed the contention raised by the counsel for the applicant and contended that the offence committed by her was a sin against the society.
Observing that any seepage or perforation in the mission of fighting with the pandemic cannot be tolerated, the High Court said that the offence for which the applicant is made accused is indeed serious in nature and tends to adversely affect the society at large.
“Very recently the entire nation has witnessed the wrath of invisible virus, where thousands of citizens left us forever. Despite of the fact, we are having a limited resources, our scientist have done Yoemen’s job in manufacturing the medicine as an antidote of this deadly virus to save our fellow citizens. The Govt. of India too being a welfare State is also on a mission mode and making all efforts to vaccinate its citizens pan India free of cost. Our health warriors tirelessly are serving the patient day in and day out, without bothering their own comfort, rather risking their own life and their family members,” noted the Bench.
Thus, taking into account the gravity of the offence and the prima facie involvement of the applicant, the High Court rejected the application seeking anticipatory bail and directed the IO to conclude the investigation as early as possible but not beyond 90 days.
The High Court also cautioned the IO not to get swayed away with any of the observations made by it, while carrying out an in-depth and transparent probe in the case.