Delhi court dismisses plea seeking NIA probe into the origin of Coronavirus from China

New Delhi [India], August 12 : A Delhi Court has dismissed the plea of Dr Jagdish Prasad, former Director-General of Health Services, who sought directions to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to register an FIR and initiate investigation regarding the spread of coronavirus in India that has resulted in large-scale disturbance of normal life, lakhs of deaths, and loss of income and property of thousands of people in the country and outside. Additional Session Judge Praveen Singh in an order passed on August 7 said, “A bare reading of the present complaint reflects that this complaint is based upon media reports, opinions, conjectures, surmises, probabilities and possibilities. There are no categorical facts which have been alleged and only the possibilities that SARS-CoV-2 might have been genetically modified at Wuhan Laboratories have been raised and that too not on the basis of facts but on the basis of view of experts.”
“Opinions can never substitute facts and for the creation of an offence, certain facts constituting the offence need to be disclosed and not the mere possibilities as has been done in the present case. Therefore, even on merits, the complaint does not call for any investigation as is it based on theories which have been propounded by individuals on assumptions and analysis raised by them, which in no manner can be said to be unestablished fact. I accordingly find no merits in the present complaint. The same is accordingly dismissed,” the court said.
The petitioner Dr Prasad, in his plea stated that it is clear that the virus, “which has its origins in China, has been deliberately, artificially created as a biological weapon, and spread as a biological weapon as part of a conspiracy” to cause substantial human and economic loss in India as well as the world.
The plea said that the normal life of every citizen of the country has been adversely affected and supplies and services, which are essential to the life of the community, have been severely disrupted for long stretches of time over the last year.
“All this has been the result of a possible deliberate conspiracy by the state and/or non-state actors in China, as part of a coordinated creation and transmission of the virus,” the plea said.
The petition moved through advocate Mahmood Pracha sought registration of an FIR under section 156 (3) Cr PC and section 16 of the NIA Act.
The plea said that though the intelligence agencies and agencies responsible for oversight of immigration into the country were aware of the risk associated with the virus, they did not issue any warnings, directions, or take any steps to control the spread of the virus in the early stages. It said their role should be under scrutiny in the investigation.
It said that the discovery of facts in the knowledge of several officials who have been involved in the management of the spread of COVID-19 in India may also be necessary.
Officials associated with the National Center for Disease Control (NCDC), the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), etc are material witnesses in the process of investigation, the plea said.
“In view of the nefarious, terrorist, expansionist, aggressive and animus behaviour of China at the borders in North-East region of India, it would be very dangerous to not undertake a detailed investigation qua the origins and spread of the virus from China to India so that the entire truth in this regard can come out and the guilty are punished in accordance with various provisions of Indian laws,” the petition noted.
It said that considering the tragic and extreme impact of the virus, including death, disease, and disability of thousands of people in India, and the drastic economic downturn and “considering the nature of the deliberate and malicious origin of the virus, offences including those under Sections 16, 17, 18, 18A, 18B, 23 etc. of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967” should be registered.
The plea said Section 14 of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and their Delivery Systems (Prohibition of Unlawful Activities) Act, 2005, and Sections 121/270/302 /307/312/313/325/333/314 read with Sections 34/ 120B of the Indian Penal Code are made out.

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