New Delhi: The centre’s officers are living in ‘ivory towers’ without knowing the ground reality of COVID. Dehli High Court slammed the centre saying the virus has not spared a single family on Tuesday, after getting to know that an Indian firm collaborating with Sputnik vaccine makers of Russia being deprived and starved of funds by the centre.
Highlighting the importance of partnership attempts with foreign manufacturers, being an opportunity to the nation facing shortage of vaccines, the court said,
“Which bureaucrat is giving you instructions? Is he not alive to the situation? God bless this country. That’s why we are facing this situation. In such matters, instructions are need to be taken from the highest authorities, that too, within 30 minutes.”
A bench of justices Manmohan and Navin Chawla remarked, “Tell your officers it is an opportunity for you, don’t lose it. The virus has not spared a single family. Your officers are living in ivory towers.”
The court fumed saying, “Does your officer not seen so many deaths are taking place in the country and we are short of vaccines? You are so short of vaccines and you are not taking it through. Don’t be negative. It is like a raging fire and nobody is bothered. You people don’t understand the larger picture or what.”
The bench said that no one is applying their mind when there is an opportunity for the Government to get millions of vaccines. It added, “Deaths will continue to happen. Every day you are castigated by each and every court and still you are not awake.”
The high court was hearing a plea of Delhi-based Panacea Biotec. The company is seeking the release of money as per a July 2020 arbitral award saying it is in need of funds at the earliest. It has already manufactured trial batches of Sputnik-V in collaboration with RDIF and the process of scale-up is on.
According to the plea, “If the the awarded amount is not released then the whole process of manufacture of vaccine at the fastest pace may get derailed, which will not be in the interest of larger humanity.”
The Centre was seen opposing the plea saying that the manufacturing won’t benefit the country as it would be for global supply by RDIF and its Indian partner. The Government claimed the vaccines were to be sold outside India. In response, the company pointed out that no manufactured vaccine could be exported with the Government’s consent and our vaccines are meant for Indian use only.
The bench said the company is willing to deposit 20% of the sale proceeds in the court, so it should be taken as an opportunity to get more vaccines.
Source: Times of India