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SC Disposes Petition Against Ranbaxy, But Directs Central Drug Standard Control Organisation To Take Appropriate Steps, In Case Of Any Deficiency [Read Order]

The Supreme Court bench of the Chief Justice, Dipak Misra, and Justices A.M.Khanwilkar and D.Y.Chandrachud, on Monday, disposed of the petition filed in 2013 by advocate, Manohar Lal Sharma against the pharma company, Ranbaxy Laboratories (Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd), after directing the Central Drug Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) to look into the petitioner’s grievances, and take appropriate steps as per law, if he finds any deficiency.

The bench, however, clarified that it did not express any opinion on the assertions made in the writ petition.

In his writ petition, Sharma sought cancellation of Ranbaxy’s manufacturing licence on the grounds that it fudged data and sold adulterated products in the U.S.  The petition was filed in the wake of reports that Ranbaxy was fined $500 million by the U.S.Food and Drug Administration for making and selling “adulterated” drugs.

Sharma alleged that the Centre had not taken any action to prohibit or ban the company’s drugs, in the wake of USFDA’s decision to impose penalty on it.

In particular, Sharma made the following prayers in his petition:

  1.  “1. to direct respondent no. 4 ( the CBI) to initiate investigation and to prosecute all ex and present directors of the Ranbaxy under s.326, 327, 320, 420 & 120-B of IPC read with s.27A & 18 of the Drug and cosmetic Act of 1940.
  2. Be further pleased to direct to respondent no. 1 (Union of India) to cancel all drug manufacturing license issued to the Ranbaxy & their group companies.
  3. To prohibit Ranbaxy to supply any kind of Medicines in India u/s 18 of the drug and cosmetic Act 1940 being as adulterated.”
  4. To seize entire property of the all directors, ex & present directors of the company for penalty u/s 27(a) of the Drug and cosmetic act 1940. etc. etc.”

In 2016, Sharma’s petition was dismissed for his non-appearance during the hearing, but was later restored, after he filed an application for restoration.

Read the Order Here

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