Delhi Hc: Challenge petition filed for non-disclosure of investment in Covaxin, Union Health Ministry made party – Delhi Hc Challenge Petition Filed For Non Disclosure Of Investment In Covaxin

Delhi High Court

Delhi High Court
Photo: PTI

The Delhi High Court on Monday made Bharat Biotech and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare parties under the Right to Information (RTI) Act in two petitions seeking information on investment and cost in developing India’s indigenous Covaxin. Justice Pratibha M Singh is hearing three petitions challenging the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order refusing to provide these details citing trade secrets, intellectual property and India’s sovereignty and integrity. Bharat Biotech and the Ministry of Family Welfare were earlier made respondent in only one of these petitions. The court has fixed the matter for hearing on March 16.

The Court said that both of them are necessary respondents in all the pleadings and hence a common memorandum of the parties should be filed in all the petitions. The counsel appearing for Bharat Biotech told the court that the petitioner, Advocate T Prashant Reddy, has been reprimanded by the Central Government for working against the interests of India and also for spreading misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Reddy’s counsel, advocate Swati Sukumar, challenged the claim and said that the comments were in relation to the death of children in Gambia who had consumed Indian cough syrup and not the COVID-19 pandemic or vaccines. The court asked the counsel appearing for Bharat Biotech to place on record the notice issued by the Center to Reddy. The Bench also took note of the submission that the CIC refused to provide the information to the petitioner.

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The Delhi High Court on Monday made Bharat Biotech and the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare parties under the Right to Information (RTI) Act in two petitions seeking information on investment and cost in developing India’s indigenous Covaxin. Justice Pratibha M Singh is hearing three petitions challenging the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order refusing to provide these details citing trade secrets, intellectual property and India’s sovereignty and integrity. Bharat Biotech and the Ministry of Family Welfare were earlier made respondent in only one of these petitions. The court has fixed the matter for hearing on March 16.

The Court said that both of them are necessary respondents in all the pleadings and hence a common memorandum of the parties should be filed in all the petitions. The counsel appearing for Bharat Biotech told the court that the petitioner, Advocate T Prashant Reddy, has been reprimanded by the Central Government for working against the interests of India and also for spreading misinformation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Reddy’s counsel, advocate Swati Sukumar, challenged the claim and said that the comments were in relation to the death of children in Gambia who had consumed Indian cough syrup and not the COVID-19 pandemic or vaccines. The court asked the counsel appearing for Bharat Biotech to place on record the notice issued by the Center to Reddy. The Bench also took note of the submission that the CIC refused to provide the information to the petitioner.

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