The Maharashtra government has told the Bombay High Court that it would provide security to Adar Poonawalla, CEO of the Serum Institute of India (SII) which manufactures the Covishield vaccine against COVID-19 if he makes a request.
After the government’s statement, the court disposed of a petition seeking better protection for the Pune-based Industrialist. The Union government has already provided ‘Y’ category security to Mr Poonawalla.
The high court was hearing a petition filed by advocate Datta Mane, seeking a direction to the Union and State governments to provide ‘Z-Plus’ security to Mr Poonawalla after he reportedly said that he was receiving threats over the supply of the vaccine.
Public prosecutor Deepak Thakare told a division bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar that if Mr Poonawalla sought protection, the state government would provide him adequate security.
“We can’t keep entertaining such petitions. In view of the statement made by the prosecutor, we are of the view that this petition can be disposed of,” the court said.
The bench also noted that the petitioner was seeking protection for a person who may not even be aware of the plea. These are personal matters. “What if he (Adar Poonawalla) says that he does not want protection or he is not afraid. We cannot go behind the back of people and pass orders,” the court said.