SC to hear PIL tomorrow
Agartala : By Our Correspondent
The Supreme Court will hear the Public Interest Litigation (No.- 15/2014) seeking CBI probe into the irregularities in the supply of spurious and substandard medicines in government hospitals tomorrow. The Division Bench of AK Patnaik and Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla will hear the PIL filed by PCC spokesman Dr Ashok Sinha. The PCC spokesperson filed an FIR against health minister Tapan Chakraborty, chief secretary KV Satayanarayana, former health secretary JK Sinha, director of health service and six other officials. Dr Sinha’s FIR was tagged with the health director’s FIR lodged against Himachal Pradesh-based Vardhaman Pharma. The health department’s FIR did not name or identify any individual. According to opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman, tagging of two separate cases which different in nature is a crime as per a latest ruling of the Supreme Court. Dr Sinha’s case was lodged under Sections 120 B and 420 of the IPC and Indian Drug and Cosmetics Act, 1970, against specific individuals. He said though the pharmaceutical company’s licence had expired in 2009, the state health department kept procuring substandard life-saving drugs for the last few years. “Since April, about 47 deaths have been reported in various government hospitals which now seem to have occurred due to negligence in medication and consumption of the spurious drugs”, Roy Barman claimed. “In fact, health minister Tapan Chakraborty has been trying to protect the erring officials”, the opposition leader alleged. Meanwhile, state government had taken a decision October last year to bring in generic medicines, taking a cue from Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu. The launch will take place at the GBP Hospital, now a part of the Agartala government medical college and gradually follow in other government hospitals of the state. The health department would open a generic medicine sales counter at the GBP Hospital. The Tripura state co-operative marketing federation would run the retail store, which will be equipped with trained pharmacists. Officials said, the Health Department has proposed 296 types of generic medicines for distribution in government hospitals, but the list would expand on basis of need and demand.