By LE Desk

New Delhi, April 29: The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the deputy commissioner (DC) of the AAP government’s revenue department to issue orders for the release of Remdesivir, used in the treatment of COVID-19, as soon as the medicine is seized by the police from hoarders and black-marketeers.

A bench of justices Vipin Sanghi and Rekha Palli issued the direction to ensure that the seized medicine does not remain as case property, does not lose its effectiveness and can be administered to the patients in need, news agency PTI reported.

The court said once a seizure was made, the investigating officer (IO) shall immediately inform the DC of the same.

The IO shall also ascertain that the seized medicine is genuine and ensure that it is kept in a refrigerated environment to maintain its effectiveness till it is released to a hospital or a COVID health centre, the bench said.

A similar direction was issued by the court with regard to the use of oxygen cylinders seized by the police during raids.

The order came after Kanwal Jeet Arora, the member-secretary of the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA), told the bench that such seized medicines and oxygen cylinders ought to be put to use, instead of being kept as case property, in the present situation when there is a dearth of the same.

The Delhi government told the court that as on April 27, around 279 vials of Remdesivir were seized by the Delhi Police.

The bench, in its order, also made it clear that Remdesivir or oxygen cylinders ought not to be seized from patients or their attendants, who may have procured it on the black market, as they may have taken such a step “out of sheer desperation and need”.

The submission by Arora was made during the hearing of several pleas on the oxygen crisis and other issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which the national capital is grappling with.

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