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AIDCOC objects to posting of IPS, other civil service officials as heads of drug control depts in Telegana

Suja Nair Shirodkar, Mumbai
Saturday, July 19, 2014, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Expressing strong objection over the appointment of IPS officers as heads of department in the drugs control administration, the All India Drugs Control Officers' Confederation (AIDCOC) urged the Telangana state government to take notice of the provisions of Rule 49-A and 50-A of the D&C Act before appointing top officials.

The protest is in the wake of recent spate of appointments, wherein, it was observed that the State has been posting officers from Indian Police Services (IPS) and other Central services as head of department of the drugs control administration, health, medical and family welfare in Telangana. The confederation, a body representing the drug regulatory officials from across the country pointed out that this is a gross injustice to the drug control officials when there is a clear mandate over the appointment under the law.

The provisions of the Rule 49-A and 50-A of the Drugs and Cosmetics (D&C) Act of 1945 specifically states that only technically qualified officers from the ranks of the department, who are qualified and experienced under the statutory provisions of the D&C Act can head and work under the drug licencing and controlling authority.

Experts point out that it is important to note that these provisions have been incorporated in the Act only after deliberating over a sling of recommendations submitted by top committees like Hathi Committee, Drugs Enquiry Committee, Pharmaceutical Enquiry Committee, Dr Mashelkar Committee etc. In fact even the Courts have maintained that appointment of persons to the public offices against the relevant statutory provision will not hold any locus standi to deal with the affairs of such public office.

In a strongly worded representation to the deputy chief minister of Telengana, the AIDCOC stressed that while the industry and scientists have the responsibility towards patient safety, the drug regulatory agency needs to be headed by technically qualified persons to have the highest responsibility towards public health. The Confederaton pointed out that with a view to ensure the matters of licencing and enforcement of drug rules it is essential that only qualified and technically sound person should head the department.

A highly placed source from the drug department cautioned that, in the recent past, High Court of Karnataka had dealt with a similar situation arising out of such appointment. The verdict of which should give enough reasons for the other Governments to avoid any embarrassing situation in the future. It is highly unjustified move to appoint people from out side when there are personnels perfectly fitting the bill within the department, the source questioned.


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