– Photo: Amar Ujala
The Delhi High Court has asked the central government to respond to an application to ban the illegal sale of drugs online. A bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramaniam Prasad also adjourned the hearing to May 22.
The Center’s counsel told the court that the proposal to create rules to regulate e-pharmacy is pending, a little more time could be given. The bank gave him time again. The petitioner’s counsel said that the rules have been in the works for five to six years, but no concrete work has been done so far.
The Court hears petitions against draft rules published by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to amend the Drugs and Cosmetics Rules and prohibit the illegal sale of drugs online. The South Chemists and Distributors Association petitioners’ association challenged the Department’s August 2018 notice, saying the draft rules were published in serious violation of the law. It said that without proper regulation, the health risk of online drug sales is ignored.
Petitioner Zaheer Ahmed has filed a contempt suit against ‘e-Pharmacy’ for continuing to sell medicines online instead of banning such activities, despite the order of the Supreme Court. They also filed a contempt against the Center for allegedly not taking action against the defaulting e-farmers. On December 12, 2018, the court banned the sale of medicines by online pharmacies without a license.
However, some e-pharmacies had previously told the court that they don’t need a license to sell prescription drugs and drugs online because they don’t sell them to them. Instead, it just delivers drugs like “food delivery app Swiggy.”
The Center’s counsel told the court that the proposal to create rules to regulate e-pharmacy is pending, a little more time could be given. The bank gave him time again.