MUMBAI: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Sujay Vikhe Patil on Monday filed an intervention application before the Aurangabad Bench of Bombay high court. Through his counsel Shirish Gupte, he stated that he had purchased only 1200 Remdesivir vials, not 10,000.
He said these 1200 brought on a chartered flight in 15 boxes, from Chandigarh to Shirdi and 500 were sent from Pharma Deal, Sadashiv Peth Pune directly to the Civil Surgeon.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by an agriculturist Arun Kadu, 70, and others alleging “illegal” procurement and distribution of 10,000 Remdesivir vials from Pharma companies of Vikhe Patil, MP from Ahmednagar.
The 40-year-old MP, who is the CEO of Dr Vithalrao Vikhe Patil Foundation’s Dr VVP Medical college, Ahmednagar said on April 15 that the hospital wrote to the Collector for immediate supply of Remdesivir injections to it for treating Covid-19 patients and informed its readiness to pay the requisite fees for it in the government bank account.
Last week, the HC had sought a report to trace out boxes claimed by the MP to have been unloaded at Shirdi airport and distributed in his constituency and also a reply from the district collector for holding a ‘press conference’ in his office premises to say the vials had come from Pune.
The Ahmednagar collector Rajendra Bhosale on affidavit “strongly’’ denied holding any press conference much less with the MP and said he’s doing his duty in these testing Covid-19 times with “utmost devotion’’ and “with all bonafides”.
Bhosale said once he placed an order for the vials on April 15, his role was over. But he said if some reporter “casually’’ asked him a question, he may have “expressed knowledge of such procurement by Dr Vikhe Patil Memorial Hospital.’’
The Ahmednagar superintendent of police submitted a report which said only 1700 injections were delivered to the Civil Surgeon with 1200 brought by the MP by air.
Vikhe Patil’s advocate Abhay Ostwal also said that the MP had “never claimed that 10,000 injections were brought by air’’ and he had not made any specific statement about the number of vials brought by him even in his videos that have been circulated, the HC order recorded.
But advocate Pradnya Talekar for Kadu submitted an affidavit indicating that “backdated records are now being prepared by the government authorities to cover up the whole incident’’. She said it was now being attempted to be shown before the HC that there are no irregularities in the Remdesivir purchase and also that the MP has no right to be heard and cannot seek impleadment in the petition as a party.
A bench of Justices Ravindra Ghughe and B U Debadwar posted the matter for further hearing to May 5 saying it would consider the MP’s plea to intervene as well as Kadu’s plea to amend his petition and seek action against other elected representatives as well.