An FIR has been registered against a chemist for allegedly selling N-95 masks at four times the fixed price amid the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic scare in Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra District on Saturday.
The First Information Report was lodged against the owner of the medical store under section 3/7 of the Essential Commodities act at Kangra Police station on a complaint by the district Food and Civil Supplies Department which was reported to the department by the locals. The medical store is located in Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College (RPGMC), Tanda.
Additional SHO of Kangra Police station Jasbir Singh told PTI that the FIR has been lodged against the pharmacy’s owner Rakesh Vohra. As the matter is being investigated the accused isn’t arrested so far.
If the accused is found guilty then he’ll be liable for the jail of up to five years under the Essential Commodities Act, the SHO said.
Narinder Dhiman, the Kangra district Controller of Food and Civil Supplies told PTI that the FIR was lodged after the chemist had been found selling N95 masks at Rs 500 each against its fixed selling price of Rs 115.50.
The department received complaints against the chemist selling the overpriced masks by the local people. Following this, Dhiman sent two food and civil supplies department inspectors for collecting evidence. They were also quoted rupees 500 each mask by the pharmacy.
Subsequently, Dhiman raided the medical store along with his team and seized the store’s stock of 100 black coloured and N-95 masks.
District Controller Dhiman stated that the chemist had purchased N95 masks at Rs 105 each as per the bill and was supposed to sell it at Rs 115.50 with a maximum 10 percent margin of profit as per the notification but he was caught selling it at Rs 500.
Under Clause 3(1)(d) of the Himachal Pradesh Hoarding and Profiteering Prevention order 1977 that was issued by Kangra Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Prajapati, a wholesaler may charge 5 percent and a retailer may charge 10 percent margin of profit on as per notification but he was caught selling them with 376% margin.