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Scrap section 33V of Amendment Bill that gives Centre powers over CLA, SLA: AIDCOC

Suja Nair Shirodkar
Wednesday, February 04, 2015, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Concerned by the provisions enlisted in the section 33V of the draft Amendment Bill, 2015 to the Drugs & Cosmetics Act, All India Drugs Control Officers' Confederation (AIDCOC) has demanded to the health ministry to omit the questionable section in the light of complications it may raise.

This move comes in the wake of Centre's plan to give the Central government powers to suspend or cancel any permission, license or certificate issued by the central licensing authority (CLA) or a state licensing authority (SLA), in public interest by notification. The draft Bill states that, where the Central government is satisfied that the permission, licence or certificate specified under sub-section (1) is not in accordance with the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder, the Government may, by notification, suspend or cancel such permission, licence or certificate.

The association strongly feels that the proposal to give powers to the Central government to suspend or cancel license granted by the state licensing authority appointed by the state government amounts to encroachment of the powers of the state government.

Ravi Uday Bhaskar, secretary general of the AIDCOC pointed out that both the CLA and SLA are quasi-judicial authorities, that are expected to function within the frame-work of the Drugs and Cosmetics Act, 1940 and Rules, 1945. Thus it is an undesirable move to vest powers to suspend or cancel licence or permission granted by the quasi-judicial authority in the Central government.

“It is only acceptable that the powers to suspend or cancel license or permission should remain with the CLAs or the SLAs as the case may be. This is an accepted principle in all laws and there is no precedence in any other law that a license granted by the licensing authority, which is a quasi-judicial authority, can be suspended or cancelled by the government,” Bhaskar stressed.

He said that rather than giving powers to the central drug authority, to take corrective measures for the mistakes or irregularities committed by the central licencing authority or state licensing authority, the government should set up a structured mechanism in the Central or state government, to address this issue. In any case, the functioning of the state licensing authority is subject to review and supervision by the Central or state government, making it imperative to avoid external influence thus making it important to scrap the proposed section 33V from the draft, Bhaskar insisted.

 

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