Many died due to lack of access to life-saving materials, says petition in Supreme Court .
A petition was filed in the Supreme Court to invoke the National Security Act in cases of hoarding, profiteering, adulteration and blackmarketing of essentials, including COVID drugs and equipment.
The plea by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay said legal action against perpetrators should include seizure of their benami properties and disproportionate assets.
The petition said the prison sentences for the various offences should run consecutively and not concurrently as is usual the practice mandated under Section 31 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
“Thousands of EWS and BPL citizens died on the streets, in vehicles, in hospital compounds and their homes due to hoarding of hospital beds, adulterated COVID medicines, black marketing of medical equipment like oxygen cylinders and huge profiteering in the sale of life-saving injections like Remdesivir, Tocilizumab, etc,” the petition said.
The petition blamed State inaction. “In Delhi, Remdesivir injection was sold for ₹70,000 though its price is ₹899. Large number of oxygen concentrators and cylinders were recovered from different places,” the petition said.
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