Need to show character
One’s ability and character is put to test in times of adversity. Those who stand by their principles and right conduct emerge victorious at the end even though they may face some hiccups while treading the path of righteousness.
The real character of people has been put to test during these testing times when most of the people had to shut down their commercial activities for most part of the year during 2020 and even now, when the second wave of coronavirus has hit the country.
In such pressing situation when people were hard pressed for economic resources some leech charactered people have resorted to hoarding and cost escalation of products which were most sought after by the people whose near and dear ones were either hospitalized or home quarantined after contracting the deadly coronavirus.
Products like medicines, medical equipments and other essentials were stockpiled by those who had enough cash reserves and later they sold their products at the cost that they only determined ignoring all the governmental instructions and guidelines.
The issue has become so grave that a plea has been filed before the Supreme Court seeking stricter punishment to control hoarding, profiteering, adulteration and black marketing of items such as medicines, medical equipments and oxygen cylinders during COVID-19 pandemic.
The petition, filed by an advocate sought direction to the Centre and states to invoke the National Security Act against people involved in these activities and seize their 100 per cent properties and disproportionate assets.
The plea also urged the apex court to rule that the punishment for offences for hoarding, profiteering, adulteration and black marketing and the sentence shall be consecutive, not concurrent.
It sought a direction to the Centre to examine the International Laws relating to hoarding, profiteering, adulteration and black marketing and take appropriate steps to insert a Chapter for these offences in IPC.
In alternative, direct the Law Commission of India to examine International Laws related to Hoarding, Adulteration, Profiteering and Black Marketing and prepare a Report within three months.
The petition has come at a time when an injectable medicine Remdesivir which costs Rs 899 was sold at the rate of Rs 70,000 and people were compelled to purchase it to save the lives of their dear ones.
Similarly other medicines like anti-virals even vitamins and other medical equipments were sold at exorbitant prices. The case was no different when people had to buy ocygen cylinders from private companies.
The covid second wave made it amply clear that all this happened due to ineffective and outdated vague laws that are being followed to deal with such situations, besides the government’s total failure to control the situation.