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COVID DATA No chargesheet against pvt lab, HC restrains Hry cops

August 01, 2020 06:00 AM

COURTESY TOI AUG 1

COVID DATA
No chargesheet against pvt lab, HC restrains Hry cops
Ajay.Sura@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday stayed the filing of charge sheet against Gurgaon-based SRL laboratory that was booked by the Haryana police for misreporting of Covid-19 samples.


The high court, however, made it clear that the police investigation against the company can continue.

Justice Manjari Nehru Kaul of the HC passed the order while hearing a petition filed by SRL Limited seeking quashing of the FIR dated July 9 registered under Section 53 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005 and various sections of IPC for cheating, forgery and related charges at Gurgaon’s Sector 17-18 police station.

According to the petitioner firm, it had carried out 1,522 tests on persons suspected of Covid-19 using ICMRapproved kits. Of the samples tested, 44 tested positive for Covid-19. Thereafter, civil surgeon, Ambala complained that there had been misreporting in respect to some samples, which had tested positive for Covid-19, by the company. Resultantly, 15 samples were sent to PGIMS Rohtak for retesting. On being tested at PGIMS, Rohtak, the samples tested negative. Consequently, an enquiry was conducted followed by a show-cause notice to the petitioner firm.

HC allows probe against lab to continue

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the state government and the company was cancelled and an FIR was also registered.

The counsel for the petitioner firm contended that the company had conducted the tests with ICMR-approved kits and as per MoHFW (GOI) guidelines, on suspected Covid-19 samples sent to it. Besides conducting tests on samples sent to the petitionerfirm by the civil surgeons/ medical officers of various government hospitals in Haryana, the petitioner firm had been conducting tests for general public also.

“The world over, an error of 10-12% is being seen with respect to the diagnostic tests being carried out for Covid-19 and as such on this count if at all, an error has crept in, though not admitted, it would be unreasonable on the part of the authorities to allege malafide intent. The FIR has been registered in haste and without any application of mind. More so, when the alleged misreporting is premised upon a diagnostic result of PGIMS, Rohtak which had tested the samples sent to it at a different point of time and by using different kits from the one used by the company,” argued the counsel.

After hearing the pleadings, the HC issued notice to the state government seeking its reply, observing, “In the meantime, investigation to continue, however report under Section 173 CrPc may not be filed till the next date of hearing

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