A petition filed in the Bombay High Court has sought Z-plus security for Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of the Serum Institute of India (SII) which manufactures the Covishield vaccine against COVID-19.
The Union government has already granted `Y’ category security to the Pune-based industrialist.
Advocate Datta Mane, the petitioner, also sought a direction to the police to register FIR and carry out a probe into alleged threat to Poonawalla over the supply of vaccine.
If vaccine makers felt unsafe, it could affect vaccine production, the petition, filed on Wednesday, said.
“If Adar Poonawalla is out of India due to threat to his life, then it (his company) will be a ship in a storm without its captain,” said the plea.
Poonawalla had said in a recent interview to The Times that he left for the United Kingdom due to threats and pressure from `powerful people’ seeking vaccine doses on priority.
Mane further said in the petition that he has approached the Commissioner of Police, Pune and Maharashtra Director General of Police with a complaint about alleged threat to the SII CEO.
The high court should direct the police to register FIR and ask the government to provide higher-level security to Poonawalla, the petition said.
It will come up for hearing in due course.